Villa Asger Jorn in Albissola Marina

di Roberta Boggi

07 Aug, 2014



On the centenary of the birth of the Danish artist Asger Jorn, his House Museum in Albissola Marina was reopened: a unique opportunity to plunge into art in a house that shows not only the life and works of the artist, but also an intimate and surprising soul of Albissola.

House Museum Villa Jorn

The little house is located at “Brucciati”, the residential area on a hill at the back of Albissola that overlooks the sea. The building stands out as the oldest among new built houses. The location is charming and towers over the Ligurian Sea and the Riviera di Levante. If the weather is nice and clear you can see the Tuscanian archipelago and if you turn south, the coast of Corsica is right in front of you.

The building dates back to 1400 and seems to have been the birthplace of two important characters of our history : Francesco Della Rovere, future Pope Sixtus IV ( 1471 ) and Giuliano Della Rovere, future Pope Julius II (1503 ). The house belonged to the Marquis Brucciati, who held the Marquesate until 1553.

COBRA group

In 1948 Asger Jorn founds the artistic movement Cobra together with the painters Karel Appel, Constant and Corneille. The founding artists align with the avant-garde, fight for a simpler painting and seek a popular form of art like scribbles, children’s art and the immediacy of the artistic gesture.

The group disdains tradition and rejects the pursuit of beauty and harmony in art according to established canons. They are inspired by primitive art and its spontaneous, expressive, intuitive traits.

Asger Jorn and the Cobra group express, with provocation, their art claiming the pleasure of painting as a creative and spontaneous gesture .

The House

When Jorn arrives at Albissola with his wife Matje and his four children; his home is a simple tent pitched on the lawns of Grana, in the neighborhood of Albissola. Afterwards he finds an accommodation in a basement on the ground floor in via Isola. Over the years he gets more and more successful and finally he is able to buy little portions of houses on either side of his own house. The building is falling to pieces and abandoned, so his friend Berto Gambetta helps him with the restoration of both home and garden.

The house is designed with a garden, where children can play with pets and courtyard animals.

When you visit his house Jorn’s attitude is clearly reflected everywhere: the pleasure of sharing a lot of time with friends drinking and eating. He also makes wine with his friend Berto, drawing the labels himself and giving them very original names.

The Art of Asger Jorn in his House

Wherever you go, whether inside or outside, you find his works. The house and the garden around radiate his art, his story, his convivial spirit, his passion for good food and good wine, and the desire to work hard in his atelier.

Jorn places his works everywhere: near the doors and windows there are some totemic figures and sculptures representing humanoids: Jorn placed them right next to the doors of the house as if to ward off evil according to ancient Nordic beliefs.

Jorn makes all the works in ceramics at the Fabbrica di San Giorgio, owned by the Poggi family, with the help of his great friend Eliseo Salino .
Berto brings Asger some big electrical insulator and he uses them as stands for his works and as legs for the tables in the garden.

The house is scattered with objects, paintings, collages he made using pieces of glass, marble, tiles, sea and rivers stones, shells.

In those days the works by his great friend, Eliseo Salino, wouldn’t be missing from all the tiniest spaces outside and inside; presently they are preserved in the local museum.

Asger’s atelier

If the house is full of colors and masonry works created especially for his children and his wife, his atelier is free from colors and the walls are white and clean: in this space he creates, thinks and plans his works.

The high ceiling and a wooden mezzanine give airiness and grandeur to the atelier. Only two wooden boards leaning against the wall give shelter to his colours and serve as a palette. These two shelves are now extremely important because are matter of study for scholars of art and painting.

In the atelier Jorn uses to celebrate the completion of a major work with his friends by eating a kid, drinking wine and singing.

A room adjacent to the studio is the think tank where the artist usually isolates himself to conceive and study his works. Here he is able to spend whole nights and days not wanting to be disturbed.

The visit to this house – museum is a unique experience that combines art with tourism, countryside with seaside offering unforgettable sensations.

Take advantage of this incredible house museum for a stay in our hotel and find out all the promotions that we offer for a holiday between art and sea.

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