Jorn in Scandinavia 1930-1953

Jorn in Scandinavia 1930-1953
Authors Guy Atkins & Troels Andersen
Publisher Percy Lund, Humphries & Co. Ltd./Borgens Forlag
Publishing date 1968
Series Asger Jorn Catalogue raisonné
Followed by Asger Jorn - The Crucial Years 1954-1964

Jorn in Scandinavia 1930-1953 is the first book in a five-volume catalogue raisonné series on the Danish painter Asger Jorn by Guy Atkins and Troels Andersen.

The author has traced Asger Jorn's artistic development from its beginnings around 1930 to the completion of the 'Silent Myth' cycle in 1953. This group of paintings forms a climax, coming at the end of a very rigorous and prolonged self-imposed apprenticeship, which had lasted twenty-three years. During this period the artist lived in Denmark, though he made numerous trips abroad: to Sweden, Western Europe, and once for six months to Tunisia. In the autumn of 1953 he decided to leave Scandinavia, and this decision proved to be an important turning-point for his art. Since 1953 he has worked mostly in Paris and Albisola, Italy.

Part One examines the various stylistic landmarks of the artist's development, for example his very personal and lyrical series of 'Didaska' paintings and water-colours from the middle 'forties; the 'word pictures' made together with the Belgian poet, Christian Dotremont, at the time of the COBRA movement; the humorous and yet strangely obsessional 'Aganak' sketches of imaginary beasts, which date from a year of extreme poverty and suffering, shortly before the artist underwent a long hospital cure for tuberculosis.

Part Two includes all the paintings by Jorn which it has been possible to discover, dating from 1930 up to the winter of 1953/4. They amount to 855, with a few extra works listed in an appendix. Illustrations accompany the descriptions in practically every case and most of the photographs were commissioned specially for the catalogue.

- Guy Atkins, Jorn in Scandinavia 1930-1953, jacket inner leaf


Part One

  1. Themes and Styles
    • From naturalism to the influence of Paris (1930-1939)
    • Small things (1940-1941)
    • Didaska (1944-1945)
    • Saxnäs (1946)
    • Tunisian paintings (1947-1948)
    • Word pictures with Christian Dotremont (1948-1953)
    • Le droit de l'aigle (1949-1950)
    • Historical pictures (1949-1950)
    • Aganaks (1950-1951)
    • The Seasons (1948-1953)
    • From COBRA to the Silent Myth (1948-1953)
    • Murals
  2. Historical Background
  3. Collections
  4. Description and Identification of the Paintings

Part Two

  • Catalogue of paintings from 1930 to 1953/4
  • Appendix, Bibliography, Credits, Index

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Asger Jorn