Albissola and the Danish artist
Albissola Marina is a sunny seaside town on the Ligurian coast with a tradition for pottery shops and a controversial Danish connection.
A while ago I read an article in a Danish newspaper about Albissola. The late Danish COBRA painter Asger Jorn (1914-1973), who is a Salvador Dali kind of character, had had a house in this Ligurian Città della Ceramica which he decorated with mosaics, sculptures and wall paintings.
After Jorn’s death the house was left to the local Italian authorities who were supposed to preserve and maintain buildings and the artwork. This was neglected, and the house deteriorated steadily until a dodgy public-private partnership between the municipality and a group of Danish investors was formed. They decided to refurbish the house and open it to the public, but somehow the wires got crossed and right now everyone involved in the project are busy washing their hands.
The story of the scandal reminded me of my visit to Albissola last year, and I digged up the photos to see if I had caught any traces of Jorn. There were pictures of potteries and the ‘Nostra Signora della Concordia’ church which is listed among the small town’s main attractions. There was also some street life and announcements of bike rentals and choral singers. But not a glimpse of the 1000 metre long mosaic pavement called “Lungomare degli Artisti”, which Asger Jorn had made with a group of Italian artists.
I would have loved to see this to me unknown work of an artist who has never failed to spark controversy.