Asger Jorn Catalogue Raisonne (3 volumes)

Artist(s): Asger Jorn
Author(s): Guy Atkins
Format: hardback
Edition: First Edition
Year published: 1968, 1977, 1980
Publisher: Lund Humphries
Publisher Location: London
Total Pages: 418, 396, 241
Illustrations: Lavishly illustrated in colour and black and white


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The key volumes of a five volume raisonne of the work by Asger Jorn, comprising: Jorn in Scandinavia 1930-1953 (1968), The Crucial Years 1954-1964 (1977) and The Final Years 1964-1973 (1980). Hardcovers in original pictorial dust-jackets. Tipped-in plates. Illustrations in colour and black and white.

Jorn in Scandinavia 1930-1953. Condition: dust-jacket a little worn with some creasing and small chipping to top edge. Dedication from the author Guy Watkins to previous owner to front endpaper. Very light spotting to edges. Light rubbing and a few small bumps to edges of red cloth boards, otherwise very good. Detailed study of the early career of the Danish artist. 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.

The Crucial Years 1954-1964. Condition: Some very slight creasing to edges of dust-jacket, otherwise very good. Takes over from the previous volume and covers the ten important years during which Jorn created some of his greatest paintings. The years 1954 to 1964 were ‘crucial years’ for they saw the emergence of Jorn as a major figure in European art. In 1958, at Expo in Brussels, his work held its own alongside paintings by other leading artists. The following year he made a huge and magnificent ceramic mural, 10 x 88 ft, for a building in Aarhus. Artistic recognition inevitably brought commercial pressures, against which Jorn found it necessary to defend himself. In 1959 he painted a series of pictures which he hoped would be rejected by the public. His so-called Modifications consisted of sentimental old canvases bought in junk shops and overpainted or ‘modernized’. These pictures did not, in fact, find buyers at the time. But his London exhibition of equally un-Jornlike ‘luxury’ paintings in 1961 was an unexpected sell-out.

The Final Years 1964-1973. Condition: light creasing to edges of dust-jacket, otherwise very good. This volume completes the detailed study of Jorn’s life and work. The two most important creative phases described in the present volume both occurred near the end of Jorn’s life. The year 1970 saw a renewal of his serious and almost exclusive dedication to painting – after the distractions of the previous years. The result of this newly found concentration was a sequence of works of the highest order, comparable in quality with those of the mid- to late 1950s.



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