Paul Jansen 

Jansen may render several connecting interstices or curved forms with strange volumes which cast shadows across the canvass. Whatever he puts his hand to, the results are always inventive. The artist's graceful, ribbon-like forms are swollen with sensuality as they appear from some space outside of the canvass and loom across the picture plane, weaving and interweaving in against themselves.

These works are pure invention, unlike anything else now in painting. They cannot be grouped with any school of thought, as Jansen is an independent artist who has chosen to observe but not participate in re- cent trends, preferring to state his own ideas rather than be absorbed by any group. Jansen uses space in a most original way. For most painters, abstract shapes function in one plane. Jansen, however, models his shapes. Because he graduates the tones in his shapes from light to dark, and because they cast shadows, they are no longer perceived as two-dimensional shapes, but as volumes. Jansen uses abstract configurations reflecting the conventional ideas of classi.- cal painting as a model. And so in spite of the strangeness of his shapes, or rather volumes, he is in reality an essentially tradi- tional artist.

For one, his paintings indicate foreground and background, and two, the underpinnings or structure of his canvasses use color as tone. His serial paintings are his least "classical" pieces. Jansen's billowing forms are extremely suggestive as they weave across the sur- face. In some paintings the canvass becomes increasingly complex and inter- esting as the viewer perceives first one con- figuration then another and still another. Jansen's forms are always circular. He is utterly absorbed by the endless variation of arcs and circle fragments which swerve and gain momentum, coil-like, as they seem to move across the picture surface, filled with a latent tension and power. Jansen is an unusual and interesting ar- fist who deals with paradoxes and combines old and new ideas in a body of work which is utterly original. Exhibitions 1979 Court Hill Gallery, New York 1976 Stamford Public Library,

Stamford, Connecticut 1974 Razor Gallery, New York 1972 Durer Gallery, San Francisco 1971 Berkeley Museum, Berkeley, California Leopold Gallery, Berkeley, California 1970 Visual Arts Gallery, New York (two-man show)

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