Asger Jorn was originally born Asger Oluf Jorgensen on March 3, 1914. He would later change his last name to “Jorn” in 1945. He moved to Paris in 1936 to study art at Fernand Leger’s Academie Contemporaine. Asger Jorn helped paint a portion of Leger’s colossal painting titled “Le Transport des Forces” for the Grand Palais de la Decouverte at the Exposition Universelle in Paris in 1937.
During the Second World War he protested against Germany’s occupation of Denmark by becoming editor of the anti-Nazi magazines Helhesten” (Hell Horse) and “Land og Folk”. In 1948 he founded the internationally known COBRA group in Brussels with fellow artists Karel Appel, Constant, Corneille, Christian Dotremont and Joseph Noiret. During this time his work was very similar to Art Informel, which was brightly colored abstracts painted with violently expressive bruch strokes. From 1951 to 1952 he was hospitalized for seventeen months in Silkeborg with a severe case of tuberculosis. In 1953 he moved to Switzerland, where he became active in the international Situationist movement. During the 60s his paintings were increasingly exhibited in countries around the world. His later work became increasingly unconventional and gruesome in its imagery.