Silkeborg Museum of Art Being Transformed and Revitalized

After devoting the winter to reinventing itself, Silkeborg Museum of Art will open its doors on March 4, 2010 to a set of refurbished galleries and spaces that offer both a broader and a more multi-layered presentation and interpretation of the Jorn collection. In addition to, among other features, an introduction space that will acquaint the visitor with Jorn’s universe, the new interior fit-out will incorporate the CoBrA Forum space, a facility providing opportunities for a deeper engagement with the museum’s extensive holdings of materials about and by Asger Jorn. The museum will therefore be closed for three months from December 1, 2009.

On reopening in the spring, Silkeborg Museum of Art will be equipped to appeal to a broader public while at the same time making opportunities for a deeper engagement with Jorn’s oeuvre and Jorn scholarship available to all. In future, visitors to the museum will be greeted by an introduction space that sets Jorn’s art and life in context.

The reopening will also see the launch of “CoBrA Forum” – a dedicated space where research on CoBrA and Jorn’s oeuvre will be showcased alongside items from the mu-seum’s archive. Here visitors will be able to deepen their museum experience and seek further information on databases, film and from other materials not hitherto available to the public. CoBrA Forum will receive support from Kulturregion Østjysk Vækstbånd (the relevant regional cultural planning initiative) and the Ministry of Culture.

More ceramics and graphic works on show
The new fit-out will make it possible to display more of the museum’s extensive Jorn col-lection. A new basement gallery will host major exhibitions of the museum’s own collec-tions, including selections from the 13,000 or so drawings and graphic works on paper that Silkeborg Museum of Art has among its holdings. This gallery will also be used for the loan shows that will supplement the museum’s program of changing exhibitions.

In addition, one of the museum’s permanent collection spaces will be dedicated to Jorn’s ceramic works, which include sculptures, dishes, vases and reliefs. Jorn’s work in ceram-ics began in earnest in Silkeborg in the 1950s and was further pursued in Italy, where his most outstanding work in this medium, the large relief sculpture in Aarhus Statsgymnasium (a sixth form college), was made.

Reinterpreting the permanent collection
For the first time since its opening in 1982, the museum’s extensive collection of Jorn’s own works will be displayed in a new, priority-ordered hanging. Silkeborg Museum of Art holds the collections that were developed by Asger Jorn from the early 1950s until his death in 1973, since when they have doubled in extent.

In consequence, the museum is not only home to the most comprehensive collection of Jorn’s own works but also holds thousands of paintings, sculptures and works on paper by other artists – members of CoBrA and older international artists who inspired Jorn or were kindred artistic spirits including, among others, Max Ernst, Francis Picabia, Fernand Leger and Man Ray.

The museum’s new name
On the occasion of its reopening in March, the museum’s new name will be announced. This name change signals the museum’s intention to push the boundaries of the Museum of Art’s traditional role.

This raft of fresh initiatives are part of Silkeborg Museum of Art’s strategy for realizing Jorn’s visions for the museum, and for spreading awareness of and interest in Asger Jorn – widely regarded as the greatest visual artist Denmark has produced in the past hundred years.

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