Asger Jorn, 1914-73, is one of the most important Danish artists of the post-war period. After staying in Paris, where he was a pupil of Fernand Léger from 1936-37, Jorn joined the group of Danish abstract artists.
Together with Belgian and Dutch artists, he founded the Cobra Group in 1948, living abroad, mainly in Paris, from 1953. With his starting point in surrealism, the art of primitive peoples and Nordic medieval art, and influenced by e.g. Paul Klee and Joan Miró, Asger Jorn developed in the 1940s a spontaneous, imaginative, abstract, expressionistic form of painting.
He worked impulsively, but often returned to his work and adapted not only his own work, but that of others. One of Jorn's main works is the huge Stalingrad (Silkeborg Kunstmuseum), which he worked on periodically between 1957 and 1972.
Other important works are the large ceramic relief and the long tapestry in Århus Statsgymnasium (1959-60).
Asger Jorn worked incessantly, often in series, and moved from one form of artistic expression to another: from painting to drawing, collage, ceramics, lithography and sculpture, and he also wrote many books on art.
In 1953 he gave his collection of his own and others' works to Silkeborg Kunstmuseum, and his work extensive as it is can also be seen in a large number of museums in Europe and the USA. Jorn has had a great influence on later Danish painters, including Per Kirkeby.
Vibeke Skov, Gyldendal Leksikon