Asger Jorn

Asger Jorn
1914 – 1973, Denmark
Painter, graphic artist, potter and author

The Contemporary Academy, Paris
(under Fernand Léger), 1936-37
The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts

One of the largest post-war international Danish artists who have greatly influenced the later Danish painters. Asger Jorn was behind the magazine Helhesten (1941-44), which was the unifying body for the “Høst”-exhibitions abstract-expressionist painters, and was a model for the later COBRA journal. Jorn made, with Belgian and Dutch artists, the COBRA movement which was founded in 1948, but only in the late 50s the time came where Asger Jorn was established in big contexts. The exhibition “Modern Art” at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, with particular Miro & Pollock was a breakthrough galleries and art dealers stood in line to buy his works for high prices. Asger Jorn spent the money to intensify his work and engagement with the Situationists and it included Jacqueline de Jong and Guy Debord who benefitted from his commitment.

Jorn travelled much and notably in Albisola and Cuba he found great inspiration which resulted in forceful expressions on the canvas.
In 1958 opened the Louisiana and Asger Jorn hated everything it stood for back then, namely the headless facilitator of all art which merely brought money and it was opposite his way of looking at art. Asger Jorn thought he could – and should – create a clearer and sharper profile based on the abstract-expressionist art, and he would establish the museum in Silkeborg. Pop art abhorred Asger Jorn also, both artistically and what it meant in contemporary politics. Jorn was highly critical in his views on politics and his political involvement was particular reflected in the large painting “Stalingrad” (1957-60 and 1967-72), at the Silkeborg Museum. His radicalism was reflected in saying no to the civic awareness, he said no to Ecker’s Medal, Guggenheim Prize and to exhibit as Danish representative at the Biennale in Venice.
Asger Jorn is most known for his oil paintings, but he also made an unknown number of ceramics, different pressure, watercolors, drawings, gouaches and collages. In addition, Jorn written articles and art theory books.

Børge Birch founded very early, a deep friendship with Asger Jorn and already in the mid-thirties did Birch sell Jorns artworks. Asger Jorn has exhibited many times in Galerie Birchs different galleries in Copenhagen through the years, plenty of group-exhibitions and solo-exhibitions in the years 1948-50 -53-55-61-62-63-64-65-66-67-68-69-72 and 2006-2007

Selected representations
Museet for Samtidskunst, Oslo
Tate Gallery, London
Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam
Nationalgalleriet, Berlin
Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venedig
Guggenheim Museum, New York

Represented at the following Danish Museums
Randers Kunstmuseum
KUNSTEN Museum of Modern Art Aalborg
Statens Museum for Kunst
Museum Jorn
ARoS Aarhus Kunstmuseum
Vejen Kunstmuseum
Fuglsang Kunstmuseum
HEART – Herning Museum of Contemporary Art
Skive Kunstmuseum
Fyns Kunstmuseum

Galerie Birch is Denmark’s oldest gallery for contemporary art and have a thorough knowledge of notably Asger Jorn and the other artists behind the CoBrA-movement, which the gallery had a close relationship with before, under and after the groups existence. Jorn and Birch has been close associated and Galerie Birch is one of the leading galleries with personal knowledge and relationship with this wonderful performer.