Asger Jorn

The North Wing

Asger Jorn was a giant of Danish and European post-war art. His output was extensive, but in the context of Louisiana, Jorn is primarily a painter.

Although Jorn is the focal point of what from the opening of the museum was referred to as a “lantern room”, the presentations of his works change over time. Often, naturally, there will be an interaction with other members, Danish and European, of the so-called post-war CoBrA movement.


Asger Jorn (1914-73) is one of the most important figures in twentieth-century Danish art.

He was in every way a boundary-breaking artist – on the international art scene, in the COBRA movement, the Situationist International and much more, including his ideas on the artist’s role in society.

The challenges he addressed for artistic media, the materials themselves, were legendary and lifelong. He worked in and on all known categories of visual art, and he had a special eye for exploding categorizations, if it was at all possible for him.

Asger Jorn knew more about art history than most artists, and the very diverse corpus of his writings as well as his works exhibited the fertile cross-currents and correlations that occupied his thought.

He was particularly cross-disciplinary, for example, when he wrote of the entire Nordic folk art coupled with his astoundingly wide reading in the humanities and literature. Sometimes eye-opening and of great importance for the dissemination of art in general; at other times strange, exotic and at the edge of the obscure.

The museum had owned a number of important works for many years, but thanks to a ground-breaking donation of 11 works from the couple Jytte and Dennis Dresing – given in two stages, in 1999 and 2004 – the museum’s Jorn collection became so substantial that it “demanded” its own permanent exhibition room.

Since then, the museum has been fortunate enough to be able to add three more Jorn works to the collection. They are two oil-on-canvas paintings from the early 1960s, including the major work Etwas bleibt (Something Remains), as well as a so-called modification, Nocturne III, from 1959.