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Les Gens Hereux

Les Gens Heureux was established in 2012 and is a contemporary art gallery in Copenhagen with a wide variety of artists exhibiting; Peter Shire, Guy Yanai, Ana Kraš, Cathrine Raben Davidsen, Fie Norsker, Mette Winckelmann, Côme Clérino, Mathias Malling Mortensen, Anna Topuriya, Matthew Feyld, Jordan Sullivan and Mimi Jung.

We dropped by the ‘happy people’ at Les Gens Heureux, and had a talk about passion for art and how light and space in a beautiful old artist’s atelier is the perfect backdrop for new fresh modern art pieces. And if you aren’t passionate about art, the space and amazing light alone is worth a visit.

Glazed stoneware & Cork by Karl Monies

Your Gallery is named Les Gens Heureux – what’s the story?

The name came out of the location. The gallery is located in the heart of Copenhagen on the top floor in a historic building built in 1909. In fact the gallery formerly served as an artist’s atelier. It’s a gallery with a beautiful natural day light – think Hammershøj – and we get such a ’happy’ feeling being in these surroundings. The name was also given with a little twinkle in the eye ‘claiming’ we are the ‘happy people’.

Peter Shire’s crazy armchair from Bel Air.

When in survival mode – tools for survival by Lea Guldditte Hestelund.

How is an artist selected for an exhibition at Les Gens Heureux?

We do not have a set form. It often happens organically. Sometimes we get introduced to artists through our network and sometimes we find artists through e.g. the internet, and Instagram. Even when we find the artists through those media, they all seem to be linked together somehow, which might be down to the rather small community and that we fact that represent a certain style in the gallery.

How would you describe Les Gens Hereux style?

We never took a clear decision about what kind of style and art work we wanted to focus on, but it came quite natural to us with these surroundings. Les Gens Hereuax was such a perfect space to open up a gallery for artists with a modern and fresh approach. So far we have exhibited all kinds of media from drawings, paintings, ceramics, photos, paper cut outs and most recently we have also exhibited video installations. I think most artists find our space very unique and full of opportunities. Most of the time we give the artists free hands and let the space make have the biggest impact on the outcome of the bespoke works for the gallery.

Performance artist Sophie Dupont making a mark on a glossy metal plate every time she takes a breath – from sunrise till sundown.

A three-dimensional corner by Amalie Smith.

Collages by Mikkel Carl who cut up his wife’s Vogue magazines without permission.

How is an exhibition prepared and carried out?

The process arranging an exhibition from idea to opening is basically a lot of practical work. It is like any other film-, stage- production or design process. From idea to end result there is a lot of practical work and coordination in between.

What moments do you appreciate the most?

I have had so many great moments at Les Gens Heureux, but I guess the best moments are when we gather people in the gallery – whether it is for a vernissage, a dinner, drinks party, etc.