State Historic Affairs Office (Asger Jorn)

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Calle Linea nr. 1009 / 10 y 12, Havana, Cuba (Arma… - (537) 8339901 – 03

State Historic Affairs Office (Asger Jorn) Havana Reviews

Chokk Chokk
1732 reviews
Something out of the ordinary in Havana Mar 28, 2016
One of Denmark's greatest painters Asger Jorn has made some dramatic and astonishing wall paintings in Cuba's State Historic Affairs back in January 1968.

The paintings are the only large improvisations, which are saved at their original place. You can visit the office, which is an archive of the revolution and not a museum. You have to call in advance and book time - you call the English speaking historian and Asger Jorn guide Armando Cómez Carballo. The opening hours are Monday - Friday from 9 - 11, 14 - 16.

Due to one of his friend, the famous Cuban artist Wilfredo Lam he got permission to complete a decorative assignment in the newly establish Historical Archive, which Cuba just had opened in a former American bank. The director of the archive Celia Sanchez was quite surprised when Asger Jorn started. Jorn took on him to transform the building from floor to ceiling. During one week 9 large walls on the ground floor and 1st floor, a staircase and two supporting pillars were cover with figures and colors.

Asger Jorns pictures didn't build on planned drawings. They just developed in one long concentrated working process. He didn't have any charcoal to make the drawing on the walls so he used a screwdriver to draw the lines on the wall. After that he used a cloth washed in black color on the lines from the screwdriver, so he could see where you should color.

The Havana decoration is unique in its magnitude. Even though the wall paintings are in a public building they have gotten the improvising, anti monumental character, which Asger Jorn also has in his pictures. On these walls Asger Jorn had completely fri hands and could utilize the shifts between architecture and the painting, which he really wanted in his expressions. The wall paintings in Cuba initiated the last but maybe the most creative phase in his life.

There are many rumors about the creative process he was undergoing when he painted the wall. I had heard that he was drunk during the 2 weeks he painted - because he loved the rum.

We called Armando Cómez Carballo in the morning and he said that we could come straight away. The entrance cam be difficult to find but we had no problem. Inside we were told to wait and so we did in 25 min before Armando came. Armando turned out to be a knowledgeable and very kind guide, and who loved talking. The visit took about 45 - 60 min and I was really impressed
Wall painting with me and our guide
Wall painting
Wall painting
Wall painting
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