Jens Jensen, David Evison
10 March – 24 April 2021
Jens Jensen + David Evison
The painter Jens Jensen and the sculptor David Evison have known each other for what feels like an eternity. They met at the Hochschule der Künste Berlin (now the Universität der Künste – UdK). Jens Jensen taught there in various departments from the 1970s until 2005, David Evison was Professor for Sculpture from 1984 until 2010.
However, their origins and development couldn’t be more different: Jensen grew up in Ahrensburg near Hamburg, and worked, amongst other things, as a Jazz trumpeter before he went to Berlin at the beginning of 1960, where he devoted himself exclusively to drawing, printed graphics and painting. As a Jazz trumpeter Jensen loved improvisation, and if one looks at his paintings on canvas and paper, he appears to employ it here too. His comprehensive series of works on paper such as “La Place” or “Les Copains de Nuit” are examples of the freedoms he takes. Just as he did as a musician in the past, he varies themes in his pictorial works, playing out possibilities, extending to a continual self-questioning, finished or unfinished.
David Evison was born in China as the son of a missionary, and for a long time commuted between Great Britain, China and Germany. At the beginning of the 1960s, when Jens Jensen was putting down his trumpet, David Evison began his sculpture studies in London. Building on a precise knowledge of classical sculpture, he explores the limits and possibilities of sculpture in his works. Refusing to recognise any limitations, he pursues pure artistic freedom.
Both artists feel an affinity with American Abstract Expressionism, creating their very own world of forms. These oscillate between abstraction on the one side and the play with figurative references on the other. Both artists allow the fantasy of the viewer free rein, much appears suggestive, but without actually becoming tangible.
In 2000, commissioned by UdK Berlin, Evison and Jensen toured studios in New York. Their task was to select an artist from the 3rd generation of American Abstract Expressionists, who was then to be invited for a guest professorship and exhibition at the UdK. On entering the studio of John Adams Griefen together, their decision was suddenly made. Griefen received the professorship and exhibition in 2002. To this day all three remain friends, and if one visits them in their respective studios – Griefen now lives and works in France – one encounters works of the friends everywhere. By the way, the first joint exhibition of the artists David Evison and Jens Jensen at the Galerie Born in 2013 was a three-way exhibition – John Adams Griefen was the third artist.
Matthias Fuhrmann, February 2021
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