Wednesday, June 28, 2017 Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 licence.

Asger Jorn (1914 – 1973)


Born in Vejrum, in the northwest corner of Jutland, Denmark and baptized Asger Oluf J?rgensen.
Asger Jorn
Everything is in constant flux, from state to state, from good to bad and back again…, only in transmutation, perpetual motion, lies truth.
Jorn quotes
If a symbolic language dies, it tortures us like a nightmare, like a thousand piece orchestra grating on our nerves and tearing our mind to pieces…. It is a corpse with no symbolic power or strength.
Jorn
The reverse process is extremely important to me — that artistic images can inspire to words and different myths, and that in certain cultures this process has been the normal relation between images and words. It is known as a rule in the so-called Germanic art, and through the middle ages heaps of such stories are directly inspired by fantastic images.




Jorn Asger quotes
If the image was sketched onto the canvas and spontaneously drawn, colour would often be restrained and unfree... The most important and the most difficult liberation process we went trough, the one that has distinguished our art, was the freeing of colour, the transition to a painterly spontaneity.
Jorn Asger
The law of aesthetics is the same as the law for our desire… Need says: "You must eat." Aesthetics says: "You can do it in a thousand different ways." Ethics: "You need a woman." Aesthetics: "Which woman do you want?" Thus the purpose of art is first and foremost ethical than aesthetic — even when the wish becomes need. The goal changes from the general to the individual from need to wish, from ethics to aesthetics.
Asger Jorn quotes
The picture’s substance reflects the painter’s substance, showing how much he has felt of himself and his society, how much he spans and how deep his experience goes.
Asger Jorn
It is said that my art has some typically Nordic features: the curving lines, the convolutions, the magical masks and staring eyes that appear in myths and folk art. This may be. My interest in the dynamics of Jugend style probably also comes into it.
Jorn Asger quotes
In 1939 I wrote my first article ("Intime banaliteter" [Intimate banalities] in the journal Helhesten) in which I expressed my love for sofa painting, and for the last twenty years I have been preoccupied with the idea of rendering homage to it. Thus I act with full responsibility and after extensive reflection. Only my current situation has enabled me to accomplish the expensive task of demonstrating that the preferred sustenance of painting is painting.
Jorn
It has been the giver’s intention to create as complete a collection of European art as possible, with the aim of illuminating Surrealism and Spontaneous-Abstract art.
Jorn Asger
Beautiful, ugly, impressive, disgusting, meaningless, grim, contradictory etc … It makes no difference, as long as it is life, vigorously pouring forth.
Asger Jorn
Breton’s Surrealists wanted to place themselves outside. What is it what they want to put outside? Pure thought. That is, the only metaphysical world, reflection. But from a materialistic standpoint thought is a reflection of matter — as in a mirror. The metaphysical world is not able to surmount the material world which produces it. One has to think of SOMETHING. But for thought to be dialectical, it's object / it's "thing" must cease to be attached to everyday life.




Asger Jorn quotes
There is also, for instance, a direct symbolic strength in the words "Say it with flowers", which makes that poem one of the cornerstones of Danish lyricism. It has stood out like a boot of an exceptionally fine fit..
Asger Jorn
We have defined art as the life form and aesthetic art as the life renewal: the stimulating, animating, agitating, inspiring, inspirational, fermenting, fascinating fanaticising, explosive and outrageous: the renewal of the unknown.
Jorn quotes
This is not an objective, historical or psychological evaluation of Danish experimental art and its historical roots, but an ideological and artistic, collective representation of our own work, thoughts, and ideas. It shows how we ourselves view our work and our way of working, and considers which of the many traditions that make up our foundation we feel connected to.
Jorn Asger
There can be no question of selecting in any direction, but of a penetrating the whole cosmic law of rhythms, forces and material that are the real world, from the ugliest to the most beautiful, everything that has character and expression, from the crudest and most brutal to the gentlest and most delicate; everything that speaks to us in its capacity as life. From this it follows that one must know all in order to be able to express all. It is the abolition of the aesthetic principle. We are not disillusioned because we have no illusions; we have never had any. What we have and what is our strength, is our joy in life; our interest in life, in all its amoral aspects. That is also the basis of our contemporary art. We do not even know the laws of aesthetics. That old idea of selection according to the beauty-principle Beautiful — Ugly, like to ethical Noble — Sinful, is dead for us, for whom the beautiful is also ugly and everything ugly is endowed with beauty. Behind the comedy and the tragedy we find only life's dramas uniting both; not in noble heroes and false villains, but people.
Jorn Asger quotes
The reckoning with idealism as a view of life is universal, but it also touches on something central in art-its life’s substance. One must understand that it is impossible to distinguish between a picture’s form and its substance. As the flower’s structure is governed by the intentional tension (when it loses the sap the form is lost), so also with art the substance creates the tension. Form and substance are one and the same. Form is the life expression and substance the living painting.
Asger Jorn
We are not talking about a new cognition in relation to abstract art, rather a new area of cognition…. This is where abstract art steps in, in a stronger sense of life, a stronger contact with the growing life, a feeling of the pulsation of life and growth in oneself, an activation of deep-seated powers a staple vitality far deeper than our cognition, not instead of science but inspired by it.
Asger Jorn quotes
The great work of art is the complete banality, and the fault with most banalities is that they are not banal enough. Banality here is not infinite in its depth and consequence, but rests on a foundation of spirituality and aesthetics.
Asger Jorn
The basic function of thought is to find ways of satisfying our needs and desires. The Surrealism of Breton and the functionalism of architecture which was more concerned with the way in which thought functions rather than with its function, — was initially idealistic. But is this not something which we can extract from Breton’s definition of automatism?
Jorn Asger
In the beginning was the image.


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