Oil on canvas; 92 x 65.5 cm.
Ejler Bille was a Danish artist. Born in Odder, Denmark, he studied at the Kunsthåndværkerskolen in Copenhagen, with Bizzie Høyer 1930-1932 and the Royal Danish Academy of Art, 1933. In 1934 he joined Linien, Corner in 1940 and CoBrA in 1949. He had concentrated on small sculptures, but moved into painting after joining CoBrA. In 1969 he was Guest Professor at the Royal Danish Academy of Art.
Bille made his début as a sculptor at the Kunstnernes Efterårsundstilling (Artists’ Autumn Exhibition) in Copenhagen in 1931. He became interested in abstract art very early in his career; in 1933, with the artist Vilhelm Bjerke-Petersen, he was one of the first artists in Denmark to exhibit abstract sculptures and paintings. In 1934 Bille was a founder-member with Richard Mortensen and Bjerke-Petersen of the artists’ group Linien (The Line), whose journal of the same name he also co-edited. During Bille’s many trips abroad in the 1930s he was particularly stimulated by the work of Alberto Giacometti, Hans Arp and Max Ernst. His originality was nevertheless clearly apparent in the early sculptures, which often used animals as subjects, for example Marten (1931) and Walking Form (1933–6; both Copenhagen, Stat. Mus. Kst).
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