Danish painter, commercial designer, decorator, ceramicist, sculptor and writer whose personality and work exerted a strong influence over his contemporaries who considered him the greatest Scandinavian artist since Edvard Munch. He studied and worked in Paris with Fernand Léger on Le Corbusier's "Pavillon des Temps Nouveau" at the 1937 Paris World Fair and in 1938 he held his first exhibition, in Copenhagen. He adopted the ideas of Miró, Max Ernst and other Surrealists with a new concept of painting which was freer and guided by colour. His works combined humorous and grotesque figures with a colour spectrum. In Paris 1948, he, Christian Dotremont and Constant formed the Cobra group which intended to unite artists of different countries with similar ideas. In 1952, he published his first book, Held og hasard and, in the mid-50s, he created MIBI (Mouvement International pour un Bauhaus Imaginiste) with Max Bill. The aim being to criticise functionalism and industrial design. He spent the last years of his life collecting his own, and the works of contemporary artists, for the Silkeborg Kunstmuseum. The gestural and expressive images, bursting with demoniac and mythical creatures, represent the Nordic variety of Abstract Expressionism.