ASGER JORN (1914-1973)
This volume completes the detailed study of Jorns life and work which was begun almost twenty years ago. Jorn in Scandinavia appered in 1968 after seven years of preparation. It was followed in 1977 by Asger Jorn: The Crucial Years 1954-1964.
The illustrated æuvre catalogue in the three volumes comprises over 2.000 items. The present book contains 676 illustrations of which 37 are in colour and there is an appendix with reords of earlier pictures which have only recently come to light. A number of forgeries, mostly from Italian sources, have been exposed. The bibliography covers not only books and articles, but also catalogues of public and private collections, exhibitions and auctions.
The text describes Jorns main preoccupations during the last eight years of his life, including his plans for rehousing the Silkeborg Muesum of Art and his research into the imagery surrounding the hero figure of Theodoric the Great (c. 453-526 A.D.), who reappeared in medieval poetry and legend as Dietrich von Bern. Jorns study of Theoddoric was published posthumously.
The two most creative phases under review in this volume both occurred near the end of the artists life. The year 1970 saw a renewal of this serious and almost exclusive dedication to painting, after the many distractions of the previous years. The result of this newly found concentration was a sequence of Paintings ot the highest order, some of which are seen on the walls of the Colombes studio, reproduced on the book jacket.
In 1972 Jorn turned, for the first time, to sculpture in bronze and marble. His major achievement as a sculptor during this short but importent phase is described in a chapter contributed by Ursula Lehmann-Brockhaus. Two other chapters, written by the Cambridge art historian Frank Whitford, evaluate the artists output in arcrylics and collages.
The author first met Jorn in 1956, when he came on a brief visit to London. During the next eighteen years, until the artist`s death in 1973, the author belonged to a small circle of close friends with whom Jorn discussed the many projects in which he became engaged.
As in the previous volume, Guy Atkins has worked in collaboration with the Danish art historian Troels Andersen.