Museum Jorn's collection is unlike any other collection
Since Asger Jorn’s death in 1973, the museum’s art collection has steadily grown, and has more than doubled, owing to purchases and donations from artists and collectors. Today, the museum owns a large collection of Danish and foreign art, which is on view in the changing exhibitions. A count indicates that more than 550 artists are represented by the museum, of which only a few have been mentioned here.
The early 1900s
The museum’s collection had its beginnings at the last turn of the century, which included the works of Albert Gottschalk, Aksel Jørgensen and Julius Paulsen, all of whom worked with light, atmospheric and colour effects. The works, like Jens Adolf Jerichaus’s large figure compositions, were a major inspiration for later generations of Danish artists.
The 1930s, ’40s and ’50s
The 1930s are represented by two different generations of painters: The older generation, including artists such as Søren Hjorth Nielsen, Svend Guttorm, Jørgen Thomsen and John Christensen, was generally occupied with the picturesque, with motifs that included the landscape, social portrayals, and interiors.
During these same years, the younger generation developed a new, abstract idiom: Vilhelm Bjerke Petersen, Ejler Bille, Richard Mortensen, Sonja Ferlov, Erik Ortvad, Henry Heerup, Egill Jacobsen, Carl-Henning Pedersen and others were inspired by the new surrealist movement from abroad, and added their own dimension to the surreal and the abstract.
THE 1960S AND BEYOND
From the second half of the 20th century, the museum owns works of the Eks-skolen (‘Ex[perimental] school’) artists: Paul Gernes, Richard Winther, Per Kirkeby, Bjørn Nørgaard, Peter Louis-Jensen and others. Common to these artists are their experiments with abstract painting, in which the materials’ colour and tactile properties are central. This generation is also represented by Erik Hagens, Ursula Reuter Christiansen and Lene Adler Petersen. The last two named are examples of a generation of forceful female artists who consciously worked with the feminine aspects of artistic expression, incorporating the sensual and drawing motifs within the framework of personal experience.
The 1980s are represented by the Lars Ravn, while Christian Vinds’ works bring the collection into the 21st Century.
The ‘un-categorisable’ and the literary
Some of the artists, whose work is in the museum’s collection, are unique in that they worked outside the mainstream of the art scene. For example, there are Hilda Wanscher and Asta Nielsen, each of whom was intensely productive at the kitchen counter.
Poul Pedersen, Leif Lage, Frank Rubin, Gordon Fazakerley and Erik Liljenberg all worked with literature as their inspiration.