BORCH Gallery & Editions is delighted to present a suite of 27 linocuts—yet unseen outside of Denmark—by renowned Danish artist Asger Jorn in the exhibition Linocuts 1933–1939at our Berlin gallery.
A suitcase with 52 linocuts, created by Asger Jorn between 1933 and 1939, was found a few years ago in his brother’s basement in Denmark. He had asked him in the 1940s to look after it and it didn’t turn up again until more than 70 years later. The plates where handed over to Museum Jorn in Silkeborg which in turn asked Niels Borch Jensen to review and eventually to print the plates last year.
Due to the delicacy of the linocuts, they have been mounted on wooden plates and printed by hand on Japanese Kozo paper. The 27 prints in the exhibition have been selected from the total of 52 to be published in an edition of 16.
The majority of the 52 plates have not been printed before. Jorn’s earliest linocuts have been published in a scout and a school magazine in his hometown Silkeborg. Later on some of his series appeared in the Marxist journal Frem under the pseudonym Asger Isen. Jorn, who joined the Danish Communist Party early in his youth already, didn’t want to be classified as one of the “dogs of the revolution,” as he expressed himself. Most of the plates are cut before he left for Paris in 1936 to study at Fernand Léger’s Académie Contemporaine and remind of German expressionist graphics of the early 20thcentury. The skilfulness and expertise that Jorn cut these plates with at such an early age of only 19 years is outstanding. The motives show Jorn’s political mind in a very humoristic but clear way, providing an inside in his involvement with his family, his art, and the social issues of his time while defining the very beginnings of his narrative visual language.
Asger Jornwas born in Vejrum in 1914 as Asger Oluf Jørgensen and died in Aarhus in 1973. Jorn was co-founder of the CoBrA group and contributed to Guy Debord’s Situationist International. He worked in painting, collage, book illustration, prints, drawings, ceramics, tapestries, commissions for murals and, in his last years, in sculpture. In 2010, the Silkeborg Museum of Art in Denmark was renamed the Museum Jorn in his honour. His works are held in the collections of The MoMA New York, Tate London, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum New York, and Reina Sofia National Museum Madrid, among others. The Deichtorhallen in Hamburg showed a comprehensive solo exhibition in the summer of 2018. The 52 linocuts printed at BORCH Editions have been presented for the first time at Museum Jorn alongside the original plates in spring 2018.