The painter Asger Jorn (1914-1973) is considered one of the greatest Danish painters of the 20th century. He was active in Denmark, France (where he spent time as of 1936), Switzerland and Italy and played a major part in the development of the European avant-garde in the post-war era. In 1948, he and other Northern European artists founded a movement called Cobra (1948-1951), named from the initials of Copenhagen, Brussels and Amsterdam. Following in the wake of Surrealism, they advocated spontaneity, a return to popular art and to children's drawings. In 1951, Jorn caught tuberculosis, which brought an abrupt end to the Cobra. After spending 18 months in the sanatorium of Silkeborg, Denmark, Jorn sought some clear mountain air to convalesce and settled in a chalet in Chesières (Canton of Vaud). In Switzerland, the Danish artist found a new language, one that reconnected with the enfolding sensualities of Edvard Munch, a pioneer of modern Expressionism. In subsequent years, Jorn gradually and very radically liberated his art from trends and influences, and developed a captivating style of painting, at times calm, at others explosive, yet always colourful.
The retrospective in Lausanne explores all of Jorn's periods, from the colourful compositions immediately following the war, populated by a fantastical bestiary, to the luminous paintings from the end of his life that are permeated by fluid and dynamic forms. The exhibition reveals Jorn's extraordinary expressive power in many different media. It is made up of about 80 paintings and will also display a beautiful group of drawings and prints, including the emblematic Suite suisse of 1953-1954, as well as sculptures.
Fondation de l’Hermitage Website