Lars Bo Biography

Lars Bo




Printmaker, painter, and writer Lars Bo was born Lars Bo Jørgensen in Kolding, Denmark, on May 29, 1924. He began drawing at an early age and was instructed by his father, an architect and watercolorist, in how to paint. After graduating from the Academy of Applied Arts, Copenhagen in the late 1930s he took lessons from the artist P. Rostrup Boyesen at the State Museum in Copenhagen, and then at the Danish School of Design from 1941 to 1943. Upon graduation he joined the Dutch resistence, aiding in the protection of Jewish Danes and others persecuted by Nazi Germany while living on Fyn Island, Odense. Following the war he worked as an illustrator for a variety of publications and exhibited frequently throughout Denmark before relocating to Paris, France in 1947.

In Paris Bo was introduced to engraving at the ateliers of Johnny Friedlaender and Albert Flocon. He then joined Stanley William Hayter's famed Atelier 17 beginning in 1950, alongside luminaries such as Jaques Villon, Marc Chagall, Pablo Picasso, and Joan Miro. This changed his trajectory as he began focusing more and more on intaglio printmaking, eventually working exclusively in the medium. As well, he was greatly inspired by the surrealism and abstraction that flourished in Europe, particularly France. In 1952 he illustrated and published his first book, "Det vidunderlige hus i Paris" and in 1954 he held his first solo exhibition in Paris. He would go on to be a regular paricipant in the Salon d'Automne and with the French Painter-Engravers.

By the early 1960s he had developed a reputation as a leading France-based engraver and illustrator and was commissioned to illustrate several books by William Blake, Hans Christian Andersen, Victor Hugo, Moliere, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Franz Kafka, Voltaire, and many more. Publishers included La Guilde de la Gravure and Georges Lambert, both in Paris, as well as Delphic Arts, New York.

In addition to fine art and illustration, Bo worked as a designer of decorations and costume
for the Royal Theater of Copenhagen's production of "Swan Lake" (1969), and for the Aahus Ballet's production of Vivaldi's "Four Seasons" (1971). He continued to exhibit throughout his career in Europe, the United States, Britain, and Japan. He was awarded French citizenship by the city of Paris in 1983 as a show of gratitude for his contributions to the French art world. He died in Paris in 1999.

1959: Youth Biennale, Paris; first prize, graphics
1969: Bratislava awards Bo for his illustrations of Andersen's "The Snow Queen"; gold medal
1970: Salon de Gravure, Bayeux; first prize
1972: Biennale de Gravure, Angouleme; first prize
1977: Honorary Prize of the French Critics

Selected Group Exhibitions:
1947: Kulingen
1949: The Artists' Autumn Exhibition, Copenhagen
1949, 1958, 1959: Salon d'Automne, Paris
1951: Danish Artists in France, Paris
1952: Salon du Mai, Paris
1958 - 1961: Charlottenborg Autumn Exhibition
1959: Biennale, Paris
1962: Biennale, Tokyo, Japan
1963: Biennale, Yugoslavia
1965 - 1979, 1981, '82, 1986 - 1992: Gronnigen

Selected Solo Exhibitions:
1949: Acti Gallery, Stockholm, Sweden
1949: Henning Larson, Copenhagen
1961, '63, '66, '68, '71, '72: Galerie des Peintres-Graveurs, Paris
1967: Yoseido Gallery, Tokyo
1968: Kunstnernes Hus, Oaslo, Norway
1971: Aarhus Art Museum
1972: Sophienhom (retrospecitve)
1982: Fundacio Calouste Gulbenkian, Lisbon, et al
2006: Memoral exhibition at Galerie Gerly, Copenhagen

Victoria and Albert Museum, London; New York Public Library; Musee d'Art Moderne, Paris; Musee du Louvre, Paris; Stedlijk Museum, Amsterdam.