Tranen Contemporary Art Center is a nonprofit art institution founded in 1970 in Hellerup, Denmark. From the beginning Tranen has been focusing on forming a platform for emerging and experimental contemporary art. The Institution was formerly know as Traneudstillingen, 1985-2015, and earlier on Tranegården, 1970- 1985. The Art institution is funded by the city of Gentofte and housed at Gentofte Central Library – just 5 km. outside central Copenhagen.
Tranen strives to provide the opportunity to experience the diversity of new tendensies in contemporary art on a high artistic level. Based on various contemporary international and local, aesthetic, social and political issues Tranen seek to be an open platform for debate and reflection on contemporary art in general.
Annually Tranen presents six exhibitions of younger professional contemporary artists. The exhibitions are both solo shows and group shows.
Gentofte Central Library is a classic Scandinavian modernist building from 1985 designed by the renowned Danish Henning Larsen architects. Build as a central house for culture Tranen was designed as a permanent and integrated exhibition facility in the library. Characteristic of Tranen is its 110 sq. meters white, niche-shaped gallery space, that bears a three sided balcony, a 8 meter tall ceiling and is illuminated by natural light through large circular sky windows.
The name Tranen, former Traneudstillingen comes from the art library Tranegården. In the seventies it was one of the only gallery spaces in Copenhagen that persistently showed young contemporary art while it still functioned as an art library. From 1970-1985 Tranegården facilitated a wide range of highly experimental art exhibitions from both home and abroad. Among benchmark artist like Arthur Köpke, Albert Mertz and Robert Jacobsen, several of the later influential American conceptual artists of the 1970-ies such as Robert Rauchenberg, Sol Lewitt, Bruce Naumann, Lawrence Weiner and Dennis Oppenheim, all exhibited at Tranegården.
Also many celebrated Danish artists started their careers at Tranegården. Inspired by the German neo-expressionist painters group “Junge Wilde” the Danish artist community “De Unge Vilde”had their major breakthrough here in 1982 with the now legendary exhibition “Kniven på hovedet” (meaning; ”The Knife on the Head”). The exhibition manifested a postmodern and wildly abstract return of the painting in Denmark. In 1985 Tranegården Art Library closed and moved into the new main library. The name was then changed to Traneudstillingen. Since 1985 Traneudstillingen has shown more than 250 exhibitions of primarily Danish and Scandinavian artist. Recognized artists such as Per Kirkeby, Kirsten Justesen, Bjørn Nørgaard, Joachim Koester, Per Bak Jensen, Ann Lislegaard and Eva Koch have all had important shows at Traneudstillingen. In 2015 Traneudstillingen relaunched as Tranen Contemporary Art Center with a renewed focus on the contemporary international art scene.