Students curate and design exhibit of avant-garde art



HElena/CC-BY-2.0. Danish artist and author Asger Jorn was one of the founding members of the CoBrA movement

The Milton S. Eisenhower M Level Exhibit space welcomed a student produced exhibit entitled “Asger Jorn and CoBrA.” The exhibit, which was shown on April 26, was designed by students in the class “The Long Sixtie’s in Europe” taught by History of Art Professor Molly Warnock.

All ten student had a hand in choosing a piece held by the Hopkins Special Collections. Students designed every aspect from the labels, to the exhibit’s layout.

The collection explored the career and influence of avant-garde Danish painter, sculptor and author Asger Jorn as well as CoBrA, a European artistic movement from the late 1940s and early 1950s.

The name comes from the initials of the founding member cities – Copenhagen, Brussels, and Amsterdam.

The pieces in the exhibit explore the many collaborative projects Jorn participated in. These ranged from Revolutionary Surrealism to CoBrA and the Situationist International, which involved artists from around the world.

The exhibit includes items like clandestine pamphlets and posters from the May 1968 protests in France. The exhibit is intended to “urge us to embrace ‘creative intelligence’ – a rallying cry that still resonates today,” as described by the event page.

The opening of the exhibit was an immersive experience with student-made interactive activities that represented the playful nature of Jorn’s work.

One of the activities, entitled “Ascetic Satyr,” was based off of a collection of love letters between Jorn and his lover, Jacquelin de Long. The students used ripped and recycled paper for people to write cryptic notes and their thoughts about the exhibit as an homage to the love letters.

Maya Kahane, a sophomore History of Art and Marketing and Communications minor studying the “Long 60’s” elaborated on what it was like to make the exhibit.

“Putting together this exhibit was an extremely unique curatorial project that gave me a hands-on experience and insight into the museum world,” Kahane wrote in an email to The News-Letter, “Professor Molly Warnock is absolutely brilliant and the ideas/visions she had for the overall exhibit as well as curating various items from special collections was well thought out.”

According to Kahane, Warnock made sure every student was involved in curating the exhibit.

“[Warnock] really gave us tremendous creative freedom and the ability to think deeply about what we were doing,” she wrote. “I will carry this curatorial experience I had in class as I work at the Museum of Modern Art in NYC this summer!”

Make sure to check on the exhibit for yourself­. It will remain in the M-level main hallway through August. Pieces are displayed in the glass cases for easy viewing.

Correction: The original article incorrectly stated that Marketing and Communications is a major. It is a minor.

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