Galleria Bianca Maria Rizzi & Matthias Ritter in Milan, Italy has issued a press release announcing its upcoming solo exhibition of Marcus Jansen’s work. The show opens with a reception on November 28. 2013 in Milan, Italy, and is designed as a bridge between Jansen’s debut at ART VERONA International Art Fair on October 10 – 14 and his first one-man museum exhibition in Europe at a date to be announced in 2014.
“Jansen’s oeuvre is a sort of urban legend: mystery and foreboding at the same time that the viewer is compelled to decipher,” observes the Milan gallery about Jansen’s body of work. “At first glance, his work seems charged with a surreal urban-like atmosphere, where the conscious and unconscious coexist in a commentary of our everyday world. In fact, the artist faces the creative act as a free flow from the unconscious, without prior sketching or references. This technique allows him to recreate a very particular universe where the most dissimilar icons amalgamate into a superlative palimpsest expression of the interdependent world in which we cohabit.”
But Bianca Maria Rizzi & Matthias Ritter is not done there. “These frightening and enigmatic suburban cityscapes reveal receding farms, residencies in foreclosure, scattered debris of industry, inhabited by the most capricious creatures: tire-horned goats, flying targeted pigs, silhouetted crows on wires, lonely clowns,” the gallery continues. “Jansen’s characters are victims of oblivion, populating a sort of Limbo, symbol of their pariah status. Alongside these creatures, anodyne signs proliferate: eclipsed suns, abandoned colorful toy balls, tires, fences, supermarket carts, boarded up windows; all of them waste and trail of the urban life.”
The historic and literal symbols are another imperative key of this disturbing but captivating universe. “In this sense, Jansen highlights the allusions to the Weimar Republic as a parallel to our contemporary society, the conjunction of the Titanic and Noah’s Ark in a completely new allegory, or the recurring references to the Wizard of Oz, one of the most widely known American popular culture icons,” the gallery notes, providing a European slant on the metaphorical content underlying Jansen’s compositions. “Jansen’s artwork is autobiographic in a certain way, and some characters may be identified as the artist itself. Such is the case of the Tin Man, and the errant figure of the artist carrying with his portfolio as the only baggage.”
“Formally, his work is the result of multiple crossings between historic expressionism, abstract expressionism, graffiti, and pop,” Gallerie Bianca Maria Rizzi & Matthias Ritter sums up. “With very aggressive and spontaneous brush strokes, Jansen’s mixed media canvasses are highlighted by the magisterial use of twisted forms, emotional color, and the insertion of clips from newspapers, digital prints, or stencils that the artist juxtaposes in a commentary of the global village.”
In the United States, Jansen’s work was selected for the cover of The Art Album, a Russell Simmons supported art book project to be released this year in New York City that features Internationally renowned painters like US artists, Kehinde Wiley, Shepard Fairey, Chuck Close, Marlene Dumas as well as Japanese artist Takashi Murakami,and Germany’s leading names like Jonathan Meese and Daniel Richter.
Jansen’s work can be found in the Moscow Museum of Modern Art (MMOMA) in Russia, the PERMM Museum of Contemporary Art in Russia, The New Britain Museum of American Art in Connecticut, The Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art in Missouri, The National Taiwan Museum of Fine Art in Taiwan and the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC. Jansen is also one of the ABSOLUT BLANK artists of 2011, joining iconic names that include Andy Warhol, Damien Hirst and Keith Haring as artisitic representatives of Absolut Vodka’s brand.
In just the last 12 months, Jansen has won the Dave Bown Projects Award (2012) and the Aesthetica Art Prize in the United Kingdom (2013), a special merit award at the March, 2013 Art Laguna Art Prize in Venice, Italy (where he also enjoyed the distinction of being the only American painter selected as a finalist by the show’s international panel of jurors) and was chosen by an esteemed panel of jurors as a finalist at the Fleurieu Art Prize 2013 Biennale in Australia, which is one of the most significant landscape painting competitions anywhere in the world.
Jansen maintains his studio and private viewing space at UNIT A Contemporary Art Space in downtown Fort Myers. For more information or to arrange private showings, please contact Terry Tincher at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.unitaspace.com.