Culture Round-Up: Latest modification to Asger Jorn painting dismays museum, but would the artist himself approve?

The artist clearly likes ‘her’ new painting (photo: Ibi-Pippi Orup Hedegaard Facebook page)
May 10th, 2022 5:59 pm| by Ben Hamilton
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In his series ‘Modifications’, which spanned the late 1950s and early 60s, Danish Situationist artist Asger Jorn would buy kitschy paintings from flea markets and add his own graffiti: abstract or grotesque drawings, sometimes even added beards or mustaches, along with scribbled text.

At the time, it was perceived to be a criticism of the avant-garde movement that he was often associated with – most notably with the Cobra international movement.

So perhaps he would have some sympathy with the 44-year-old artist who made an addition to one of his works at Museum Jorn in Silkeborg.

The difference, of course, is that Jorn made alterations to crap he found in markets, while his 1959 painting, ‘Den ururoligende ælling’ (the disturbing duckling), although still arguably crap, is worth millions of kroner. Or at least it was.

Make that a double
The ‘artist’ in question, Ibi-Pippi Orup Hedegaard, signed her name and used copious amounts of glue to affix her likeness to the painting. She was arrested and then released after questioning. Charges are expected.

Upon her release she took to Facebook to write: “I have just visited the Jorn Museum in Silkeborg and made a double modification. I have mounted a picture of myself on top of the famous duckling. It is glued on. In addition, I have signed the work, as it is now an Ibi-Pippi work and not an Asger Jorn.”

It is believed that Orup, who recently underwent a legal gender reassignment to become a woman without making physical changes, was in the company of provocative artist Uwe Max Jensen at the time.

In a video, Jensen can be heard complaining that Ibi-Pippi did not show off his penis inside the museum.

Shaken and disturbed
Jacob Thage, the museum director at Museum Jorn, told DR that he is “quite shaken” by the incident. The glue will be very difficult to remove, he said, and it is doubtful the painting can be saved.

“It is one of the very well-known Jorn modifications. It is one of his five most important works, and it is an internationally renowned work. A national treasure,” Thage told DR. 

Peter Beck, a valuation manager from the auction house Bruun Rasmussen in Aarhus, confirms that  ‘Den ururoligende ælling’ is one of the most famous paintings of its kind – mainly because of its reference to HC Andersen – and that it would fetch more than a million kroner if sold.

Presumably as ‘co-artist’, Ibi-Pippi Orup will argue she should be entitled to a cut of the proceeds.


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