Asger Jorn

The Timid Proud One


Asger Jorn 1914–1973
Original title
Le Timide Orgueilleux
Oil paint on board
Support: 997 × 806 mm
frame: 1181 × 995 × 75 mm
Purchased 1966

Display caption

Jorn had been a prominent member of CoBrA, a group of northern European artists whose improvisatory approach to painting was intended as a way of liberating their work from repressive bourgeois conventions. Although this painting was made several years after the group disbanded, its child-like style reflects the same principles. The figure embodies some mysterious inner struggle, perhaps reflected in the title. Jorn was a great believer in these kind of opposed dualities. ‘Tension in a work of art is negative-positive: repulsive-attractive, ugly-beautiful. If one of these poles is removed, only boredom is left’, he said.

Gallery label, November 2005

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Catalogue entry

Asger Jorn b.1914

T00853 Le Timide Orgueilleux (The Timid Proud One) 1957

Inscr.‘Jorn 57’ t.r. and ‘Le Timide Orgueilleux Asger Jorn 57’ on back of millboard.
Oil on millboard, 39¼ x 31¾ (100 x 80).
Purchased from Peter Cochrane (Grant-in-Aid) 1966.
Coll. Purchased by Peter Cochrane from the artist through Arthur Tooth and Sons 1958.
Exh. Arnal et Jorn, Galerie Rive Gauche, Paris, June 1957 (17); The Exploration of Form, Arthur Tooth and Sons, January–February 1958 (7); I.C.A., April–May 1958 (31); Ten International Artists, Norfolk Contemporary Art Society, Norwich, June 1958 (11); Painting and Sculpture of a Decade, Tate Gallery, April–June 1964 (186, repr. p. 31 in colour); Kunsthalle, Basel, October–November 1964 (52); Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, December 1964–January 1965 (57); Louisiana Museum, February 1965 (65).
Lit. Virtus Schade, Asger Jorn, Copenhagen 1965, p. 73 and repr.
Repr. Apollo, LXVII, 1958, p. 89; Art International, V, April 1961, p. 34.

Published in The Tate Gallery Report 1966–1967, London 1967.

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