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Sergej Jensen



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“Paintings without paint”—this is how Sergej Jensen has described his approach to creating large-scale canvases made out of found fabric, sewn together and altered by a combination of artistic intention and chance. He uses a variety of textiles such as burlap, raw silk, linen, and wool, and exposes them to the elements, bleaching them with chlorine or applying dyes, gouaches, and acrylic. The result is a broken surface scarred by chemical reactions and crisscrossed by threads holding the canvas together. By combining this very physical approach to fabric with the subtle application of threads and yarns onto the surface of his works, Jensen creates canvases of quiet but intense beauty, materially concrete yet fleetingly intangible. The lower half of this untitled work is composed of various fabrics assembled in an abstract pattern of colors and textures. Some of the cloth pieces show traces of their origins, highlighting their role as found objects. The upper half, by contrast, looks almost monochromatic. Its off-white surface is stained by bleach mixed with paint, creating painterly gestures reminiscent of Abstract Expressionism. [Permanent collection label, 2017]

  • Artist Sergej Jensen (Danish, b. 1973)
  • Title Untitled
  • Date 2010
  • Medium Sewn fabrics
  • Dimensions unframed | 106 1/2 x 133 3/4 in.
  • Credit line University purchase with funds from the David Woods Kemper Memorial Foundation, 2011
  • Object number WU 2011.0003

Contemporary German Art: Selections from the Permanent Collection
Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, Washington University in St. Louis, 05/03/2013 - 09/07/2013

Precarious Worlds: Contemporary Art from Germany
Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, Washington University in St. Louis, 09/09/2011 - 01/09/2012

Purchased from Galerie Neu (Berlin, Germany); Purchased with funds from James M. Kemper Jr. (Kansas City, MO)

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