Esther Schipper is pleased to present Ann Veronica Janssens' fourth solo exhibition with the gallery.
The exhibition will include new glass and mirror works, two works from her series of aquariums with brightly colored insets, and several glitter-based works. Janssens engages the spectator with works that foreground the body's perception of the world and itself in it. She often uses light, natural optical phenomena or glass as medium. Beautifully made, her works exude the impression of great simplicity yet create vivid experiences of the act of seeing, evoking a heightened awareness of the changeability and fleetingness of individual perceptions.
Her practice is characterized by its openness and changeability. Accordingly, the group of new sculptures draws on the optical effects of reflection and refraction to produce constantly changing impressions. As viewers move around the objects with suspended liquids, and as light passes through these small, contained spaces, unexpected views are reflected and their surfaces appear to become momentarily brightly colored.
Analogously, the large vertical iridescent mirror works exist in infinite facets. One, Magic Mirror, consists of three layers of glass. Sandwiched between two intact panes, the central pane has been broken into a myriad of pieces. It is securely preserved in its fragile state, but as light hits the surface, each cracked seam reflects it at different angles, creating variant shapes and colors.
Janssens has likened her work to "a plastic proposition… akin to a laboratory revealing its discoveries." As a result, one might think of the artist as pioneering scientist from the Age of Enlightenment: deducing natural laws from her close observation of everyday phenomena. Yet Janssens' works carry this inquisitiveness lightly. Their openness lets her approach appear an enchanted science. For the observer this may entail childlike wonder at the optical (or often physiological) effects created by the works. The unstableness and changeability questions the nature of what art is—a material articulation or the experience of its interaction with the world and oneself in it.
Ann Veronica Janssens was born in 1956 in Folkstone, England. She studied at L'École de la Cambre in Brussels. The artist lives and works in Brussels.