14 December 2006 – 27 January 2007
Berlin-based artist Sergej Jensen’s work draws on a wide range of materials and formal references. Primarily known for his textile works, his lyrical compositions incorporate a variety of fabrics, from burlap and linen to silk and wool. Working within the idiom of minimalist painting, Jensen takes its material support – the canvas – and sews, bleaches, stretches or stains the cloth to create works that waver between abstraction and representation.
The principle of the readymade and recycling suffuse his practice; off-cuts from previous works often re-appear as motifs for new paintings; hand-knitted lengths are sewn or pulled over stretchers; sections of fabric are left outside to let the weather alter its surface. His practice has drawn attention to seemingly incidental details such as flecks of wool or frayed edges, and his muted palette and gestural mark-making, whether applied in paint or stained with bleach, point as much to negative space as to delineated forms. Although the imagery can be hard to read the titles given often allude to their point of origin in recognisable forms.
For his exhibition at White Cube Hoxton Square, La chambre de la peinture, Jensen inserted a window in the gallery wall through which visitors can look out onto the street beyond and passers-by may glimpse into the interior space. The domestication of the room was amplified by the addition of a wall-to-wall carpet, with the paintings spot-lit to enhance their materiality. The creation of an environment in which to view the work reflected Jensen’s interest in working within a broader discourse than painting alone, and this extends to producing his own music and films and collaborative performances.