Lot Sale Results

Asger Jorn

Asger Jorn

Asger Jorn
Post-War & Contemporary Art Live auction

Lot # 054

Asger Jorn
1914 - 1973 Danish

Rifki florblomster
oil on canvas
signed and on verso signed, titled, dated 1944 and inscribed variously
31 1/2 x 39 1/2 in  80 x 100.3cm

Knud Petersen, Copenhagen
Børg Munch Nielsen, Copenhagen
Lilly Petersen, Hellerup
Sold sale of Post-War and Contemporary Art, Day Sale, Christie's London, February 5, 2004, lot 148
Secher & Scott, Denmark, 2007
Property of an Important Estate, British Columbia

Guy Atkins, Jorn in Scandinavia, 1930 – 1953: A Study of Asger Jorn’s Artistic Development from 1930 to 1953 and a Catalogue of His Oil Paintings from that Period, 1968, reproduced pages 154 and 355, catalogue #336

As a young artist, Asger Jorn was inspired by the Russian artist Wassily Kandinsky. In 1936 he drove his motorbike from Copenhagen to Paris, hoping to study under the legendary artist. To Jorn’s surprise, Kandinsky did not run his own academy, so Jorn enrolled in Fernand Léger’s Académie de l’art contemporain. As a result of this, he worked for Le Corbusier at the World Exhibition in 1937. This experience conclusively confirmed to the artist that he would disavow the principles of Purism - the aesthetic of logic, mathematical order and geometric form practised by Le Corbusier. By the 1940s, Jorn was expressing his activist side. Alongside other artists, Jorn published the journal Helhesten (Ghost Horse), which produced nine issues from 1941 to 1944. The journal covered artistic themes such as African masks, Nordic folk art, Surrealism and children’s drawing – all intended to provoke and resist the German occupational power.

Rifki florblomster is an important work from 1944, produced near the end of World War II. This still life of flowers (florblomster means “flower blossom”) is somewhere between abstraction and figuration, similar to the work of American artists Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning in the mid-1940s. Rifki florblomster is a pivotal work that clearly incorporates aspects of what Jorn was studying at the time for his journal Helhesten – most visibly, children’s drawings, African masks and folk art. Rifki florblomster can be seen as a painting that foresees the upcoming joy of liberation in 1945, and it marks the beginning of Jorn’s furious spontaneity in life and in his art.

In 1948, the same year Jorn had his first solo exhibition in Paris, at the Galerie Breteau, he and his Dutch and Belgian counterparts, including artist Karel Appel (lot 53 in this sale), founded CoBrA, an acronym for the artist’s native cities of Copenhagen, Brussels and Amsterdam. They were as much opposed to the structural tactics of movements like De Stijl as they were to the Academy. The group’s doctrine was a complete freedom of expression in the use of brushwork and colour – breaking from the stringent forms and confined palettes that dominated the avant-garde art scene.

This work is registered at Museum Jorn and is included in the catalogue raisonné by Guy Atkins as #336.

Estimate: $125,000 ~ $175,000 CAD

Sold For: $145,250.00 CAD (including buyer's premium)

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