Past exhibitions

Constant, 1949

Cobra - My Life!

Jens Olesen Collection

2 March - 20 May 2013

In this exhibition Museum Jorn presents one of the largest Cobra collections in the world. In honour of his 70th birthday, the businessman, patron and art-lover Jens Olesen has put a comprehensive part of his art collection out on loan to the museum.

The collection of Jens Olesen is a result of more than 60 years of intense interest in the artists surrounding Cobra. He acquired his first lithography at the age of nine, and since then his passion for the Danish, Dutch and Belgian artists has steadily grown, concurrently with Jens Olesen seeking out their exhibitions, meeting them personally, and even forging friendships with some of them.
Today, Jens Olesen’s Cobra collection encompasses over 1000 works, which are located respectively in Copenhagen and Brazil, where Jens Olesen has resided since the 1960s. For this exhibition, Jens Olesen’s twin brother, art historian Lars Olesen, has selected no less than 156 works from the collection. With such a wide range of high-quality works, the exhibition gives a varied insight into the fundamental ideas and diverse forms of expressions of the Cobra art.

The exhibition presents painting, sculpture and drawing by the pivotal artists in Cobra – including the Danes Asger Jorn, Ejler Bille, Egill Jacobsen, Carl-Henning Pedersen and Else Alfelt, the Dutch Constant, Corneille and Karel Appel, plus the Belgians Christian Dotremont and Pierre Alechinsky. But also more peripheral persons such as Sonja Ferlov Mancoba and Erik Thommesen – who each in their own way later renounced their affiliation with Cobra – are represented. This diversity in forms of expression contributes to emphasising that Cobra was far from a close-knit group with a common working foundation, but that it to a far greater extent must be viewed as a haven for experimental artists. Additionally, besides works from the actual Cobra period (1948-1951), the exhibition also includes works which the artists have created both before and after this three-year period.

Musem Jorn would like to thank Jens Olesen and his family for making this exhibition possible, Lars Olesen for insightfully curating.

Illustration: Constant: Bird, 1949.

AVK Holding
Oticon Fonden
Overretssagfører L. Zeuthens Mindelegat


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