Asger Jorn (1914-1973), Red Visions, 1944
Asger Jorn’s art from the early 1940s is a vital celebration of life and creation. This is also true of Red Visions, where swarms of tiny human and bird-like beings weave their way among each other in a dynamic state of interplay.
A universal, cosmic representation
At the same time, the figures are inscribed in an upwardmoving formation spreading itself across the canvas like a tree of life quite literally brought to life by the small, colourful figures. The sun and moon make it clear that this is a universal, cosmic representation. The similarity to Old Norse motifs testifies to Jorn’s interest in fundamental myths and symbols from Western culture.
The spontaneous abstract art
Jorn was one of the leading figures within the spontaneous abstract art of the 1940s. Together with Danish colleagues such as Egill Jacobsen (1910-1998), Ejler Bille (1910-2004), and Carl-Henning Pedersen (1913-2007) he helped develop a style of painting that expanded the techniques of Surrealism to include a free, spontaneous manner of painting. The objective was to give the brush free rein, thereby getting in touch with the deeper layers of the human mind.
The formation of Cobra
In the late 1940s, Jorn was one of the originators behind the formation of the international artists’ association Cobra, which rebelled against conventional art and fought for a free expression of creativity and the imagination.