Exhibition: What Moves Us? Le Corbusier & Asger Jorn in Art and Architecture

Exhibition: What Moves Us? Le Corbusier & Asger Jorn in Art and Architecture

What moves us humans, physically and emotionally? This is the theme explored by the protagonist of modern architecture Le Corbusier (1887-1965) as well as by the great Danish artist Asger Jorn (1914-1973) in their architecture, art and writings. With the exhibition What moves us? Le Corbusier & Asger Jorn, Museum Jorn brings the two artists and thinkers who both wanted to change the world together again.

Le Corbusier is one of the most influential and controversial figures in modern urban planning, architecture and art. Recently his contacts with both fascists and communists have made headlines in Danish newspapers. Museum Jorn marks the 50th anniversary of Le Corbusier’s death with an international exhibition which offers a glance behind the façade of Le Corbusier’s life, art and architecture, while at the same time correlating his oeuvre with the ideas of his former assistant: Asger Jorn. Where Le Corbusier’s quest was idealistic and spiritual, Jorn’s explorations were focused on the materials and their physical properties.

In close collaboration with the Fondation Le Corbusier in Paris and displaying more than 200 exhibits lent by the foundation, Museum Jorn presents new facets of the great architect. Ranging from outstanding works like Le Corbusier’s oil paintings and original models of major architectural works like his famous church in Ronchamp and Unité d'habitation in Marseilles to small personal items dear to the master: French postcards, pipes, stones that he collected on the beach, and his favourite book Don Quixote by Cervantes, which he had bound in the skin of his late dog. The exhibition thus contrives to provide new insight into this highly controversial figure and to illustrate how the artist changed our way of looking at art, architecture and urban planning in the present day.

The passionate discussions of le Corbusier provided by Asger Jorn, probably the most influential Danish artist of the last century in the world, punctuate the entire exhibition. Jorn worked for Le Corbusier in 1937 and although he started out by admiring him, he would end up distancing himself from what he termed ‘misanthropic’ dwellings.

Jorn’s many big decorative projects from the relief and tapestry ‘The Long Journey’ at Aarhus Statsgymnasium (sixth-form college) to his house in Albissola and the basement in the Revolutionary Archives in Cuba are fruits of Jorn’s debate with Le Corbusier. The exhibition highlights the two men’s distinctive differences as well as their common features: the master and the pupil, despite belonging to separate generations and leading very different lives, were both passionate about the potential of architecture and art to move us physically and emotionally.

The exhibition is curated by Ruth Baumeister, PhD, who in 2014 became the first female professor at the Aarhus School of Architecture, and who is the author of three books on Asger Jorn and his view on architecture and art.

A catalogue in a Danish as well as an English version is released in connection with the exhibition, sumptuously illustrated and featuring contributions from such international Le Corbusier experts as Heinz Emigholz, Stanislaus von Moos, Juan Calatrava, Joan Ockman and Kjeld Vindum, and reprints of key texts by both artists.

Especially for this exhibition and in collaboration with the German experimental filmmaker Heinz Emigholz (b. 1948), Museum Jorn has created a 40-minute film about Asger Jorn’s biggest decorative work ‘The Large Relief’ at Aarhus Statsgymnasium (sixth-form college) and Le Corbusier’s ‘Villa Savoye’ near Paris. The film is at once an art film, a biographical portrait, architectural presentation and cultural history. The film has been made with financial support from Realdania.

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Cite: "Exhibition: What Moves Us? Le Corbusier & Asger Jorn in Art and Architecture" 27 Aug 2015. ArchDaily. Accessed . <https://www.archdaily.com/772612/what-moves-us-le-corbusier-and-asger-jorn-in-art-and-architecture> ISSN 0719-8884

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