Paul Gadegaard

Paul Gadegaard is especially known for his radical embellishments in the Angli shirt factory in Herning. In the factory his large, abstract paintings with their characteristic angular shapes in bright colours - as well as parts of the original furnishings, still characterize the rooms.


 Gadegaard på Den Sorte FabrikPaul Gadegaard (1920-1996) at the Black Factory

Paul Gadegaard painted concrete and abstract art works. He is considered an important exponent of a part of the Abstract Art entitled "Klar Form" (Clear Form). He worked with colours and shapes and the relationship between them. There is neither illusionism nor stories in his works. His works are not to resemble anything at all. They only tell stories about themselves, about their compositions and nothing else. They are all about colours and shapes, about contrasts and equilibrium, accents, change, rhythm, foreground and background. Therefore, the meaning of his art works can be individually perceived.

Paul Gadegaard participated in the artists' association Linien II. Here the artists worked with a geometrically-controlled art form in order not to create an illusion of space in paintings, but to keep the material aspect of paintings intact. Another aspect, which was discussed in particular in Linien II, was the function of art in both public spaces and in society in general. The large and significant tasks of decoration that Gadegaard made in Herning and several other places around Denmark became his vision of how art can fill out a specific role in society.


The decorations in Herning stand as significant milestones in Gadegaard's artistic career. In 1952 he was employed by the textile manufacturer Aage Damgaard in order to create artistic decorations in his Angli shirt factory and in the following 10 years he was on the payroll, and received food and lodging as well. Additionally, he was given artistic freedom. He embellished this freedom in the first Angli shirt factory in Th. Nielsen Gade in 1952, and during the years 1957-60 in the second factory, the so called Black Factory. Also in the year 1977-82 he decorated the last factory, Angligården, situated in the Birk area. He also made his mark at Herning Højskole and the company Uno-X Gas A/S.

Gadegaard's work in Herning was a unique project: a collaboration between an artist and an business man, but also in regards to the virtue of the final result. His artistic decorations became milestones in relation to Concrete Art and a unique life's work.


den sorte fabrik interiør2Paul Gadegaard's decoration at the Black Factory

Most profound was the decoration in The Black Factory, which unfortunately no longer exists. Simply because of the extent of the decoration it must be qualified as groundbreaking. The outside walls were painted black; hence the nickname of the factory, but the inside was coloured differently. Here the ceilings and walls were painted in bright colors, and all the furniture inclusive binder and lamps were decorated likewise. Furniture such as tables, shelves and closets were sculpted and painted after the same principles. The desktops were not, for example in a familiar rectangular shape, but designed with angular gestalts – like the ones in Gadegaard's paintings, but now in three dimensions.

The decorations were created with the intension of bringing a positive effect on the factory's employees and thereby to improve their working environment in general. However, the actual effect on the individual employees was never analysed, but acc. to Aage Damgaard the employees had no prejudices against the art. He believed this to be so, because his employees had been involved throughout the entire process of creating the art.

In the period from 1977-82 Gadegaard decorated Angli. Here one can still see paintings and some of the furniture which Gadegaard designed, and some of these are still in use. In addition, HEART has a large collection of Gadegaard's works.