Olav Christopher Jenssen – At times

30.03.2008 – 11.06.2008

Haus am Waldsee will be presenting “At times”, a show of current works by the Norwegian artist Olav Christopher Jenssen who was born in 1954. For the first time here in Berlin, the painter and sculptor will be showing the full spectrum of his works: from large scale paintings and small watercolours and drawings to expansive sculptural installations made of aluminium, clay and plaster.

Olav Christopher Jenssen: At times

Idiom, 2006/08
245 x 245 cm, acrylic on canvas
Photo: Uwe Walter
Courtesy of the artist

Olav Christopher Jenssen: At times

Relevance (From the Protagonist), 2007/08
245 x 245 cm, acrylic on canvas
Photo: Uwe Walter
Courtesy of the artist

In contrast to the internationally acclaimed figurative work that is strongly represented in German painting, Jenssen works on an introspective, abstract network of thought that evades concrete conceptual definition. It seems to bear some semblance to real life insofar as his images are a journey into the preconscious. Systems develop that are image-immanent. These sometimes set off white against colours in a stencil-technique in order to obliterate traces, pursue or clarify them by geometry, adding further steps or new pieces of canvas. The shifting shapes remind one of hanging gardens, incomplete pictorial combinations that porously develop their self-assurance in the light.

This profound type of painting emerges from a deeply calm state, defies any claims on memory. The painting seems to be purely future oriented, and does not correspond to any definition either stylistically or in content. It eschews anything trivially narrative. The viewer can access the images by association. Here and there, he stumbles upon fragments of memories. On the whole, however, Jenssen resists the past, and he resists taking painting as a warehouse of history. His poetical art always remains in the here and now. Hence he seems to reply to the question when and how images are generated in our brains by means of our own imagery.

Olav Christopher Jenssen is one of the most important artists of Northern Europe. He took part in the documenta IX, 1992, and in 2003 had a major retrospective at Kunstmuseum Bonn. Since the middle of the 1980s he lives and works in Berlin.

The exhibition has been made possible with kind support by

The Linde GroupNorwegische Botschaft