News about the art | 8.mar.2014
Asger Jorn’s masterpiece visits the SMK
One of the main highlights of the SMK’s current exhibition is the opportunity to see Asger Jorn’s largest and arguably greatest work, Stalingrad, The Non-Place, or the Mad Laugh of Courage.
You will usually need to visit Museum Jorn in Silkeborg, Denmark, to see his vast painting Stalingrad, The Non-Place, or the Mad Laugh of Courage, but these days you can experience it at the SMK. The painting visits the SMK as part of the exhibition Asger Jorn – Restless Rebel.
About the exhibition
A modern history painting
As the title suggests, the painting can be regarded as an example of modern history painting, relating the story of the World War II Battle of Stalingrad in Russia. The battle, which proved a turning point in the war, claimed approximately two million casualties in total.
Jorn’s friend, Umberto Gambetta, who helped him refurbish his property in Albisola, had taken part in the Battle of Stalingrad as a soldier in the Italian fascist army. His eyewitness account of the horrors prompted Jorn to use the battle as the painting’s theme:
"In such a battle the human aspect predominates – that so many die on each side and one can no longer take sides. Courage and all heroism become overwhelmingly absurd. The picture began there," Jorn would later say.