oil on canvas
26 by 39 cm.
10 3/16 by 15 1/8 in.
This work was executed in 1941.
PROVENANCE Poul Vanghede, Copenhagen Acquired directly from the above by the previous owner in 1991 Thence by descent to the present owners
LITERATURE Guy Atkins and Troels Anderson, Jorn in Scandinavia 1930-1953; a study of Asger Jorn's development from 1930-53 and a catalogue of his oil paintings, p. 343, pl. 240
"It is said that my art has some typically Nordic features : the curving lines, the convolutions, the magical masks and staring eyes that appear in myths and folk art. This may be. My interest in the dynamics of Jugend style probably also comes into it." The artist intervied by Marita Lindgren-Fridell in Tecken för liv, tecken till liv, 1963
Tentatively beginning his career as part of an exhibition in the public library in his home-town of Silkeborg in 1933, the later 1930s were to prove a period of radical development in Asger Jorn's style. While early works consisted of small-scale landscapes and portraits, 1935 saw a move into abstraction which stood him in good stead for a relocation to Paris the following year. While the artist credited his time at the Académie Contemporaine of Fernand Leger with teaching him important lessons in structure and composition, he was to spend a number of years consciously endeavouring to disengage from the formality which was cultivated in students there. The current lot displays the obvious influence of Ejler Bille, with whom Jorn (or Jorgensen, as he was known until he changed his name in 1945) shared a studio on his return to Copenhagen in 1937, with its patches of colour linking jigsaw-like to create a satisfying whole. Its confident use of paint and colour also identify the work as an important step in the journey towards the dynamic primitivism of Jorn's later COBRA-period canvases.