Asger Jorn, the Museum – and me

July 4, 2019

I’ve just visited Museum Jorn in the heart of Jutland, Western Denmark, and thought I would put together a few notes of a personal character. I am no expert whatsoever on Jorn – Denmark’s most important and most internationally well-known artist in modern times – but I happen to have a personal relationship to Jorn without ever having met him. So take it for what it is…

Asger Jorn (1914-1973) was, through and through, a “wild” artist, a “situationist”, experimentalist and provocateur. He believed in the working principle of taking his ideas to the extreme. He was a painter, ceramic artist, book and manifest author, printer, sculpturer, he did murals in e.g. Cuba, and more.

Asger Jorn – or, originally, Jørgensen

He was indeed A Restless Rebel – the title of the wonderful catalogue book for his centenary exhibition at the National Gallery of Denmark, SMK, (in cooperation with Museum Jorn) in 2014.

That said, he seems to have cherished dialectics; he was always working with people in various groups and movements but also defining his works in opposition to this or that “school” or fashion of his times.

The most well-known of which he was a member was, of course, CoBrA. He was very political – radical leftist, a member of the Danish Communist Party – and always applied a philosophical approach to his works as well as his role as an artist in society.

Here his book on “Value and Economy” with just a little sense of humour and published by the Scandinavian Institute for Comparative Vandalism…

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