Karen Kurczynski

  • Constant

    New Babylon, the interdisciplinary project created by the Dutch artist Constant between 1956 and 1974, remains one of the most singular, ambitious, and self-critical architectural visions to come out of the cultural ferment of the period: a liberatory vision pursued in the form of tabletop models, architectural renderings, films, collages, written descriptions—even paintings, despite his avowed rejection of painting at the time. Constant’s idea was to transform the world into one global, interconnected city characterized by continual migration and spontaneous play. Strategically opposed to

  • Asger Jorn

    Asger Jorn spent six months with his family in a chalet near Lausanne, Switzerland, in 1953–54, recovering from the tuberculosis that had spelled the end of the Cobra movement a few years earlier. Isolated from the culture of the region, he maintained an epistolary connection with art-world friends abroad, including Enrico Baj and Pierre Alechinsky. After moving on to divide his time between the Italian coast and Paris, Jorn returned to Switzerland regularly in the 1960s, and his first international retrospective took place in Basel in 1964.

    Asger Jorn: un artiste libre” (Asger Jorn: A Free

  • Cobra

    COBRA REMAINS frequently dismissed as a quaint and childlike pictorial style depicting colorful monsters. But the movement’s legacy is far from simple. Formed in Paris in 1948, Cobra connected an international group of artists (from many more cities than just the “Copenhagen/Brussels/Amsterdam” its acronym indicates) isolated by the war and eager for renewed collaboration. Karel Appel, Constant, Corneille, Christian Dotremont, Asger Jorn, and Joseph Noiret all signed the collective’s manifesto; Pierre Alechinsky and others joined shortly thereafter. Together, they aimed to reanimate modes of