Over the years, many cats have modelled for the artist Henry Heerup. Their sweeping tails, pointed ears, and slanted eyes appear in paintings, prints, and sculptures where cats in all shapes and sizes accompany Heerup on his bike trips through the seasons or out and about.

On soft paws, cats have pussyfooted their way into the experience or Heerup’s Garden and place of work and, from there, into the very heart of Heerup as an artist and cat lover. One particular story relates how Heerup received a whole pallet of cat food for his 75th birthday from the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) by way of thanks for his contribution to a diverse animal world. However, there is much more at stake than simple everyday life when Heerup’s cats jump out of waste bins, dance on two legs, or are enthroned on classical Greek columns.

As usual, Heerup seeks to call attention to the fact that even simple and everyday motifs conceal essential and complex narratives. It is about people and human relations as much as cats. In his art, Heerup draws on a popular image of cats, which is partly shaped by its elegant appearance and, at times, capricious demeanour, and partly by century-old stories rooted in superstition and adventure.

In the exhibition PURRFECT, Heerup’s beloved cat motifs are joined by wild and tame furry animals from the hands of, among others, J.F. Willumsen, Mogens Zieler, Leif Sylvester, and Julie Nord. We allow art to show us the many faces of cats and delve into historical as well as present-day perceptions of cats as pets, wild animals, omens, friends, or enemies.

Moreover, the Heerup Museum is very pleased to collaborate with KATTENS VÆRN (Cats Protection). This means, for example, that you will be supporting Kattens Værn in their excellent work to find new homes for cats and give them decent lives when purchasing the Heerup poster featuring Kat og Bjørneklo (Cat and Giant Hogweed)