THE ASGER JORN ROOM
Asger Jorn (1914-1973) is one of the central figures in Danish 20th-century art – as well as a boundary-transcending artist, in terms of both the international art world with Cobra, Situationist International and much more, and of the position of the artist in society.
His challenging of the ‘stuff of art’, the materials, was legendary and lifelong. He worked in and with all known categories of visual art, and had a keen sense of when to break through those very categories if at all possible. Asger Jorn knew more about the history art than most artists, and in a huge variety of writings as well as in the works themselves, the interconnections within and outside art were his constant preoccupation. Probably the outside ones in particular, as when he wrote comprehensively about the whole of Nordic folk art, combining it with his incredibly wide reading in the humanities and literature; sometimes with eye-opening acuity and great significance for the presentation of art in general, sometimes strangely and exotically, bordering on the obscure.
In the Louisiana context Asger Jorn is first and foremost a painter. For many years the museum has owned a number of important works, but it was not until the breakthrough donations from Jytte and Dennis Dresing in 1999 and again in 2004 – a total of eleven works – that the museum acquired such a fine collection that it justifies the existence of a permanent Asger Jorn gallery at Louisiana. Recently an additional three works from the years around 1960 has added a more panoramic scope.