Asger Jorn (1914-1973) trained as a teacher. He attended Fernand Léger’s school in France 1936-37 and the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts 1937-42. He was co-editor of the abstract expressionist journal 'Helhesten' 1941-44, which maintained the right of fantasy in a dark time. The Second World War made it impossible for art to cross boundaries and the gaze was directed towards Nordic folk art that was found among other places at the National Museum of Denmark. Jorn felt this art was deep inspiration for his own. In 1948 Asger Jorn co-founded COBRA together with artists from other countries, especially Holland and Belgium.
In 1951 Asger Jorn became seriously ill with tuberculosis. He left Denmark in 1953 and in subsequent years lived e.g. in Albisola in Italy, where he worked with ceramics, and in Paris.
His international breakthrough came at the Brussels World’s Fair in 1958.
From around 1960 Jorn painted 'Modifikationer', where he over-painted others’ poor quality work.