Asger Jorn

The Open Hide

35 E 67th Street

May 5 – July 29, 2016

Untitled (Phoenix)
1949/1950
Oil on Masonite
24 x 18.5 inches

Portrait: Signora Albissola
1957
Ripolin and oil on paper on Masonite
59.4 x 39.4 inches

Le Hollandais Volant (The Flying Dutchman)
1959
Oil on board over an earlier painting (modification)
19.9 x 39 inches

Portrait of Odilon Redon
1958
Oil on canvas
43.3 x 31.9 inches

Oriental Fire | Sanoyara
1958
Oil on canvas
39.4 x 31.9 inches

Le Destin s‘ecrase (Destiny's Egress)
1962
Oil on canvas
23.8 x 28.5 inches

Animaux animé(s) (Animated Animals) (recto)
1944/46
Oil on canvas
29.2 x 39 inches

Untitled (verso)
1944/46
Oil on canvas
29.2 x 39 inches

Acteur en Action (Actor in Action)
1967
Oil on canvas
25.6 x 21.3 inches

Green Language
1962
Oil on canvas
23.6 x 28.8 inches

La Caresse Atroce (Atrocious Embrace) / (The Fiendish Caress)
1960
Oil on canvas
39.4 x 31.9 inches

Untitled (Faces in a Head)
ca. 1960
Oil on fiberboard
19.7 x 27.6 inches

Jungle Drama (Drama i junglen)
1952
Oil on Masonite
31.5 x 35.8 inches

Untitled
1971
Gouache on paper, mounted on canvas
18.7 x 14 inches

Untitled
1968
Oil on canvas
13 x 19.5 inches

Das Offene Versteck (The Open Hiding Place)
1970
Lithograph in colors on smooth paper
40.6 x 55.3 inches

Bird Observing a Flock of Dumbuggers: Naughty Picture, No. 3
(Fugl der iagttager en flok pjatterøve: uartige billeder Nr. 3A)

1955
Oil on canvas
21.6 x 18.1 inches

Couple amoureux interplanétaire (Lovers in Outer Space)
1954
Oil on panel
35.8 x 37.8 inches

Le Future du passé (The Future of the Past)
1971
Woodcut in colors
29.5 x 21.7 inches

Rodt Lys (Red Light)
1960
Oil on canvas
25.6 x 21.3 inches

Asger Jorn
The Open Hide
Installation view 1
2016

Asger Jorn
The Open Hide
Installation view 2
2016

Asger Jorn
The Open Hide
Installation view 3
2016

Asger Jorn
The Open Hide
Installation view 4
2016

Asger Jorn
The Open Hide
Installation view 5
2016

Asger Jorn
The Open Hide
Installation view 6
2016

Asger Jorn
The Open Hide
Installation view 7
2016

Asger Jorn
The Open Hide
Installation view 8
2016

Asger Jorn
The Open Hide
Installation view 9
2016

Asger Jorn
The Open Hide
Installation view 10
2016

Asger Jorn
The Open Hide
Installation view 11
2016

Asger Jorn
The Open Hide
Installation view 12
2016

Asger Jorn
The Open Hide
Installation view 13
2016

Asger Jorn
The Open Hide
Installation view 14
2016

Petzel Gallery is pleased to announce an exhibition of works by Danish artist Asger Jorn (1914-1973). This is the first US-based solo show dedicated exclusively to Jorn’s work since an exhibition at New York’s André Emmerich Gallery in 1993.

“An Asger Jorn can be garish, florid, tasteless, forced, cute, flatulent, overemphatic; it can never be vulgar.” The words of art historian T.J. Clark, writing in 1994, came two years after he commented at an art history conference that Asger Jorn was “the greatest painter of the 1950s.” Although to make this claim, Clark shifted the highpoint of Jorn’s work to that decade, it remained an assertion that surprised his audience: could Jorn, a relatively unknown Dane, compete with the likes of Pollock and his American contemporaries?

It is easy to doubt Clark’s statement, given the American unfamiliarity of Jorn’s work: though exhibited from the 1960s at Lefebre Gallery, until its closing in the 1980s, there has only been one retrospective of Jorn’s in a major New York institution—The Guggenheim Museum, 1982-83. However Clark’s judgment questions an accepted system of values entangled in cold war politics that propelled an enduring, art historical narrative that lionized the New York school of abstraction.

For Jorn, who was aligned with the CoBrA movement and later the Situationist International, art was an expression of life, of activism, of an unedited freedom not confined to studio practice. Over a diverse and multifaceted career spanning 50 years, Jorn’s work attests not only to this belief, but also to a practice permeated with excesses. Notwithstanding, Jorn’s association with the CoBrA movement ultimately pigeonholed the artist potentially to his detriment.

It is of course impossible for one small exhibition to move the art historical status quo; it would be equally futile to try to represent the full breadth of Asger Jorn’s work with just a couple of dozen exhibits. Nevertheless The Open Hide is intended to be a small step in ameliorating the repressed significance of Asger Jorn. The exhibition encompasses approximately twenty works (oil on canvas, gouache on paper and lithographs) made between 1943 (“Losko”) and 1971, including examples from important series such as “Modifications,” as well as archival material. Many of these works are not only new to New York, but have not been seen in Europe for many years.

Petzel Gallery, New York, has published an accompanying catalog to this exhibition featuring over seventy-five images. The Open Hide, a publication edited by Roberto Ohrt and Axel Heil, features a comprehensive biography of Asger Jorn, archive material and complete provenance, exhibition and literature information. The book is available to purchase here.

Petzel Gallery is located at 35 East 67th Street between Park and Madison Avenues on the third floor. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM.

For press inquiries, please contact Janine Latham at janine@petzel.com, or call (212) 680-9467.

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