Exhibitions

Ann Veronica Janssens

12.03.2015 - 07.05.2015
Ann Veronica Janssens
Untitled (Golden Circle), 2015, Brass and gold bath(24-carat), Dia 90cm
Axel Vervoordt Gallery is pleased to present the first solo exhibition of Ann Veronica Janssens (°1956, Folkestone) in Hong Kong.

Janssens is best known for using ephemeral materials such as colours, artificial fog, and light to extend and explore human perception. Her work unbalances perceptive experience and isolates sensory experiences. She fragments them, reduces them to their most essential aspects and transforms these into ab-stract shapes, ephemeral materials, in a play with colour and light. The viewer is thus invited to become more aware of how he perceives space and what can be the impact of the slightest sensual stimulus.
The exhibition consists of five carefully selected sculptures, each with its own play of colour and light subtly offering a different phenomenological experience. The immaterial aspects of light stimulate our understanding of space and reality.

Ann Veronica Janssens lives and works in Brussels, Belgium. Her work has been exhibited in multiple solo exhibitions, including "Serendipity" at WIELS, Brussels; "Are you experienced" in Espai d'Art Con-temporani de Castelló; the Neue Nationalgalerie in Berlin, the Musée d'Orsay in Paris; the CCA Wattis Insti-tute in San Francisco; the Ikon Gallery in Birmingham; the Kunsthalle Bern; MAC in Marseille; the Venice Biennale; Carriageworks in Sydney. Her œuvre is represented in numerous large public and private collec-tions.

Five easy pieces

Installations, films, sculptures, environments: these are some of the means by which Ann Veronica Janssens enhances our proximity to such “simple” notions as colour, light, sound and space; simple no-tions that are nonetheless difficult to materialize. Through inducing sensations and intensities, her works are attempts at apprehending the ethers, the air and all manner of suspensions. This work concerns the suspension of sensitive states, or of that which is ungraspable, in order to propose it to us in the space of a moment, a dash of light or in the presence of a smoke screen.

Ann Veronica Janssens’ works open up the passages that are necessary to this alchemy of matter and gazes; they invite us to step over these thresholds or hold us there on the brink, suspended, so that this transformation may take place, evoking the illusion of infinite space. Coloured fields of energy may mate-rialize, the light can absorb us, or a star may appear before our eyes. The works sometimes engender a slight displacement or, more frequently, a perceptual shift that has no existence outside of the duration of the required, active presence of the viewer. Five easy pieces is the title of an American film of the 1970s, but it is also a piano learning method published during those years. In the same way, the five sculptures presented by Ann Veronica Janssens in this exhibition invite us to discover different aspects of her works.

A magic mirror with a deliberately shattered surface multiplies the fractured likeness of the viewers and the space, into which it also projects its sparkles. This refraction of the environment and the experimental activation of colour linked to the displacement of viewpoints enable a virtual « portal » to open up beyond the perception of the object, producing a temporal effraction that transports us, for a moment, into a magical universe.

On the ground lies a long beam of massive glass. It is entirely black. The fragile quality of the glass, combined with the solidity of the bar and the dense black lends this work an otherworldly presence. The black glass absorbs light, yet it seems to radiate from within. One might even imagine it to be the solidifi-cation of liquid oil that will begin to flow again when it is touched.

On the walls three simple geometric shapes punctuate the space : three golden surfaces capture the light and the enigmatic contours of the faces that find themselves reflected in its glow. Gold is nature’s ulti-mate brilliance and its use in art entails a long historical tradition. Not only was it used to express eco-nomic value, it also referred to unfathomable space. These three surfaces vibrate with such subtlety that they offer us the physical experience of a possible transcendence.

Five easy pieces is an introduction to the singular resonances of the "petite musique" of some key works by Ann Veronica Janssens.

- Joel Benzakin, 2015
Ann Veronica Janssens
Ann Veronica Janssens
Ann Veronica Janssens
Ann Veronica Janssens
Ann Veronica Janssens