Carpintaria is pleased to announce Sergej Jensen’s third solo exhibition in Brazil. Seven years after his last show at Fortes Vilaça, São Paulo, the Danish artist presents a new body of work, which restates his interest in using textiles as a starting point in his painterly practice, initiated in the early 2000s.
Jensen subverts the traditional painting vocabulary by employing textiles such as linen, burlap and silk as support in his pieces. Moreover, the artist appropriates all kinds of textiles, and explores the contrast between high and low quality materials, whistle deconstructing and sewing them together. Extremely subtle abstract compositions emerge in the process. Jensen applies paints and gold leaf over the textiles, evoking an almost accidental, fortuitous use of the former, simultaneously highlighting textures, wefts and entanglements of the latter.
The artist approaches the surface as a construction – and deconstruction – site in which stains, imperfections and blots may at times allude to maps and landscapes. Poetic cartographies play with light and opacity. Furthermore, he carries out a manipulation of the painting process itself: paint in either applied indirectly to the support, from behind; or the support is seen as a negative space over which the artist employs chemical compounds to subtract its original color, allowing the material to reveal its peculiarities and attributes.
In the pieces created for this show, the artist added new procedures to his usual technical repertoire, for instance, UV printing – a technique that uses UV radiation to achieve high-precision printing on a wide range of surfaces. At first sight, the use of a digital artifice seems to contradict the mostly analogical and manual methods that have guided Jensen’s production thus far. However, such choices reveal a fraying in the artist’s visual vocabulary, whose rapport with abstraction at times stumbles upon representation, uncovering figurative traces, as in Ivory Crab (2018).
This is more apparent in works where fine materials such as platinum, gold leaf and diamond crystals lend extravagant and silent electricity to the compositions. These pieces unfold in a temporality and frequency of their own, inviting the viewer to slowdown and decipher details of an oblique painting process. In short, Jensen’s work challenges painting’s methods, materials and canons, and offers a defiant, rigorous and elegant interpretation of what can be done in the field today.
Sergej Jensen (born 1973, Maglegaard, Denmark) lives and works in New York. Recent solo shows include: Staatliche Kunsthalle Baden-Baden, Baden-Baden (2017); Statens Museum of Kunst, Copenhagen (2016); and Berlinische Galerie, Berlin (2013). In 2011 he had his first American museum survey at MoMA P.S.1, New York. His work is part of the following collections: Museum of Modern Art, New York; Guggenheim Museum, New York; Tate Modern, London; Fondation Beyeler, Basel; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; and Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris.