Loeb Danish Ardt Collection - page 225

EGILL JACOBSEN
   ‒  
 .
Green Mask,

(Grøn maske)
Oil on canvas,
⅔
x

in. (

x

cm)
       :
Galerie Asbæk, Copenhagen,
.
         :
The American Scandinavian Society of New York at Privatbanken Gallery,
Selections of Contemporary Danish Art,

, no.
.
         :
Per Hovdenakk,
Egill Jacobsen, II,

, p.

, no.

/

. (described as:
Uden titel
).
I
n various articles and interviews, Egill Jacobsen has recalled how he started painting and how he pro-
gressed to using the mask as the essential structure in a painting in which colour became his most impor-
tant tool—feelings, presentiments and experiences, the actual motif.
His earliest pictures of masks were created as early as the spring and winter of


, shortly after
his
fi
rst visit to Paris. He was living at the time in an attic in Købmagergade in Copenhagen. This room con-
tained a stove and some extremely modest furniture and measured only
x
metres (
½
x

feet). But there
was space enough to paint self-portraits. So he looked at himself in the mirror and produced one expres-
sive portrait after another.
As time went on, the pictures changed . . . “and became more summary and abstract, because colour
came to play a greater part, and as though in a long, slow transition, the self-portraits developed into pic-
tures of masks.”
¹
The two works in the Loeb collection, painted more than forty years later, are still composed on the
basis of the physiognomy of the mask. But Jacobsen’s mask pictures are never repeats; they are variants of
a single motif, explored again and again in the form of silent questions to the subconscious.
The mask, which was taken from the arts of Africa and the South Seas is not to be associated with a
speci
fi
c physiognomy. “It is the face of all faces, and its function is not to hide, but to express and make
visible.”
²
S.L.
¹
From Gunnar Jespersen’s conversations with Egill Jacobsen reproduced in Jespersen’s book
De abstrakte,
Copenhagen

.
²
Fogtdals Kunstleksikon,
Vol.
, Copenhagen

.
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