with Soft Lapping Waves, Green, Per Kirkeby
Per Kirkeby is a prolific artist who has worked in the media of sculpture, architecture, ballet sets, and writing in addition to having obtained a doctorate in geology before painting. He has also worked in film, and while his exposure in the U.S. has been limited (he is famous in his homeland of Denmark, and in the U.K.) one would recognize his title sequences title sequences—abstract animations of lines and brushstrokes, and live footage of panoramic landscapes—for several Lars von Trier films, including Breaking the Waves (1996), Dancer in the Dark (2000) and Antichrist (2009).
I stumbled across his work soon after I moved to London in 2009, thanks to a retrospective of his work at the Tate Modern. I was struck by the lush, luminous layers of color, texture and pattern. His abstract landscape-inspired works seem to unpeel to reveal different ways of observing depth in nature.
The precise, fluttering lines inspired me to make a dill-centric dish for this art and food pairing. Growing up my mother always made a very simple and delicious salad out of lettuce, dill, olive oil and lemon, which I am reproducing here. Dill is gorgeous in its original form, but also geometrically lovely once cut. In addition to radiating an intoxicating scent, visually it works like shadow lines on a dish, highlighting and illuminating that which it overlays.
lettuce of your choosing
a handful of dill, finely chopped
1/8 cup olive oil
juice of 1 lemon
salt, to taste
Whisk together the dressing (oil, lemon, salt) in a large salad bowl. Place the greens on top and stir to coat them.