by Paul Zimmerman
The dynamic expressiveness of Jan Jensen’s recent paintings exhibited at Artifact with their authentic and free spirit is the basic reason why we are drawn to his images. They are certainly is pre-linguistic and, as Eric Lennenberg stated in The Biological Foundations of Language: “Words tag the process by which the species deals cognitively with the environment.”
That is to say that the best visual work says the inexpressible using shapes and colors. Indeed art is the unspoken language, in Theodor Adorno words, a dialectic between the intuition and rationality, as it attempts to approximate thing and expression so closely that difference disappears. In Jan Jensen’s colorful canvases the expression of confidence and deep engagement produce an exuberant visual narrative.
The convincing contradiction felt as the paintings’ carefully composed frenzy betrays the artist’s suave dedication to the essence of art. The immediate and the particular of modern life with its political reverberations is what Jensen has chosen to explore in his work. His coloristically saturated paintings are the intense spaces that have their own values of the world both disconnected and united in a frenzy of life. Within these surrogate spaces the artist takes on an artistic journey that is remarkable, moving between the extremes esthetic assimilation and the social incoherence. Both inner and outer worlds are clearly seen by a viewer through the artist’s direct pictorial language.
Paul Zimmerman is an art critic living and working in Manhattan.