Asger Jorn, The Disquieting Duckling (Le canard inquiétant), 1959, Oil on canvas, modification, 53 x 64,5, Museum Jorn, Silkeborg.

Asger Jorn og Noël Arnaud, From the book La langue verte et la cuite. Étude gastrophonique sur la marmythologie musiculinaire (The raw and the cooked tongue), 1968, Paris, Jean-Jacques Pauvert.

Portrait photos, c. 1962, Museum Jorn, Silkeborg.

Asger Jorn to Harry F. Guggenheim: 'To Hell with Your Money, Bastard'

Asger Jorn, Interplanetary Woman (Femelle interplanétaire), 1953, Oil on canvas, 100,8 x 81,5, KUNSTEN Museum of Modern Art, Aalborg.

Asger Jorn, The Avant-Garde Never Gives Up (L’avant-garde se rend pas), 1962, Oil on canvas, disfiguration, 73 x 60 cm, Private collection.

Asger Jorn, Falbo II, 1951, Oil on hardboard, 74,5 x 60,5 cm, Canica Kunstsamling, Oslo,

Asger Jorn, The Sun is Pissing Me Off (Le soleil m’emmerde), 1961, Oil on canvas, 162 x 129,8 cm, Statens Museum for Kunst.


Statems Museum for Kunst
Sølvgade 48-50
+45 33 74 84 94
Asger Jorn – Restless Rebel
February 28-June 15, 2014

”Go to Hell with your money bastard" Tose words opened Asger Jorn’s telegram to Harry F. Guggenheim in 1964, sent shortly after he received the news that he, Jorn, had won one of the prestigious Guggenheim Awards. A fun, yet also telling anecdote that becomes particularly ironic today in light of the fact that Jorn is among those Danish artists who have reached the highest sales prices on the international art market. Even more importantly the statement testifies to the unbridled devil-may-care attitude that is so inextricably linked to Jorn’s entire artistic production — a radicality that has, for many years now, languished somewhat as other narratives about the Danish artist have taken center stage.

The Forgotten Jorn The large-scale anniversary exhibition at the SMK is based on years of research and aims to add new avenues to the narrative about Jorn. Past presentations have most frequently focused exclusively on Jorn’s work as a painter, but the SMK exhibition showcases Jorn’s immense lack of temperance as regards his artistic curiosity and eager desire to get involved in everything from politics and scientific theories to archaeology, architecture, and gender discussions. And whereas Jorn is traditionally depicted as a modernist painter cut from the same cloth as other spontaneous-abstract painters from the era, this anniversary exhibition points to an artist who takes his very own approach to things, making it difficult to pin him down. An artist engaging in a constant dialogue with the world around him, constantly reinventing his own language on canvas, paper, in clay, or in his countless critical reflections in writing. Very importantly, this exhibition puts a new emphasis on the radicality and political and social activism that permeates Jorn’s entire body of work. This artist, who may be the most important Danish artist of the 20th century, is far from proper, polished, and nice!

Jorn Total Featuring approximately 200 works of art the exhibition brings together a rich selection of Jorn’s paintings, sculptures, drawings, prints, ceramics, and theoretical writings. Visitors will find famous major works alongside rarely-seen art from private collections, all combining to showcase Jorn’s work from the early years to his late production: from the political awakening of his youth, a time of bright, figurative forms, to the liberation of colour and form during the CoBrA years and onwards to his increasingly avant-garde experiments which reached an acme with the Situationist International and Jorn’s own Scandinavian Institute for Comparative Vandalism. From the very beginnings to the end all art is commented on and supported by archive materials and a rich and varied exhibition design that helps provide a full picture of an artist who was always on the move.

Museum Jorn and SMK The SMK has planned this large-scale celebration of the centenary of the birth of Asger Jorn in close co-operation with Museum Jorn. For several years now the two museums have engaged in a close partnership to get the Jorn year off to a great start by staging two exhibitions that perfectly supplement each other. The museum in Silkeborg will show the large-scale exhibition "Expo Jorn – Art is a Festival", which offers a journey through the many different themes that Jorn explores in his works and the different artistic sources and collaborative relationships that inspired them. In addition to a wide range of Jorn’s own works the exhibition presents groundbreaking artists, such as Kandinsky and Picasso, whose principles on form and content inspired Jorn’s work as he gradually found his own unique idiom.

Books to accompany the exhibitions In connection with the exhibitions Museum Jorn and the SMK will publish two books that provide an overview of and insight into Jorn’s multi-faceted oeuvre and many sources of inspiration, all based on the most recent research. The books are available individually or together in an attractive box at a special campaign discount.

The exhibition is supported by: Augustinus Foundation and New Carlsberg Foundation, C.L. David Foundation and Collection, 15. Juni Fonden, George Jorck and Emma Jorck Foundation, Beckett Foundation, Novo Nordisk Foundation, Toyota Foundation, Gangstedfonden and Danish Agency for Culture.

Asger Jorn, Value and Economy. A Critique of the Economic Policy and the Exploitation of the Unique). (Report from Scandinavian Institute of Comparative Vandalism), 1962, Copenhagen, Borgens Forlag.

Asger Jorn as the Little Mermaid at Dyrehavsbakken, 1964, Jacqueline de Jong.

Asger Jorn, Long Live the Passionate Revolution of Creative Intelligence (Vive la révolution pasioné de linteligence creative), 1968, Color lithograph, 515 x 325 mm, Statens Museum for Kunst.

Asger Jorn, On the Silent Myth, Opus 7, 1953, Oil on hardboard, 135 x 300 cm, Silkeborg Bibliotekerne.

Asger Jorn, Stalingrad, No-Man’s Land, or the Mad Laughter of Courage (Stalingrad, le non-lieu ou le fou rire du courage), 1957-60, 1967, 1972, Oil on canvas, 296 x 492 cm, Museum Jorn, Silkeborg.

Asger Jorn, In the Beginning was the Image (Im Anfang war das Bild), 1965, Oil on canvas, 199 x 301 cm, Canica Kunstsamling, Oslo.


Asger Jorn, Danno the Dane, 1961, Oil on canvas, 65 x 54 cm, Private Collection.