Patchy Quarrel painted in 1964, dates from arguably the most crucial period of Asger Jorn's life and career. For it was only during the early 1960s that Jorn truly began to formulate his thoughts and philosophical beliefs, writing book after book, and to incorporate his beliefs into his art.
A strong guide in his work was his intense investigation of the mythical, of the long heritage of the Nordic peoples. Jorn's own work, in his mind, was merely the latest development in a long history of folk art and heritage. Although the images he produced were not folk art, as a Dane he felt that his interpretations of his heritage was in its own right valid and, indeed, necessary. He even believed that Scandinavians were uniquely adapted to seek and depict the true emotional core of existence: 'In no place in the world do aestheticians go to the depths in madness and poverty so often and so compulsively as here. We are brought up in it' (Jorn, quoted in Peter Shield, Comparative Vandalism: Asger Jorn and the artistic attitude to life, Aldershot, 1998, p.150)
The patterns and forms that Jorn painted were dictated only by his own reaction to what had gone before, each brushstroke a reaction to the organically growing whole. This in itself adds to the autonomy of each color--Jorn himself intuitively found the way forward each time his brush hit the canvas. Usually, he would begin at the top right and work his way down.
Jorn himself claimed that his titles were mere tags to distinguish the one from the other: 'I use the titles in a very slapdash way, and at the same time making sure not to be too precise, not to give a painting too precise and unambiguous a meaning' (Jorn, quoted in Shield, op.cit., 1998, p. 67).
While the 1960s were a period of great advances in his philosophy, they were also the years in which his mastery of color truly came to the fore. He had always hoped to somehow imbue each individual color with an autonomous, almost mystical strength, and it was during this period that he finally began to achieve them.