Ann Veronica Janssens

De Pont Museum

10 November - 31 March, 2018

Picture by Andrea Rosetti, courtesy Esther Schipper, Berlin

Picture by Andrea Rosetti, courtesy Esther Schipper, Berlin

Light, color and space are the fundamental materials used by Ann Veronica Janssens (Folkestone, 1956). With these intangible phenomena she creates 'sculptures' that make the invisible visible. Architecture is, by nature, static; whereas light and color remain changeable. That is what Janssens investigates while, throughout the process, she experiments and sets people and things in motion. Her work, based on sensory perception, demands the active involvement of the viewer.

With her interventions Ann Veronica Janssens turns the museum's 'white cube' into an indefinable space filled with colorful mist. Despite the presence of light, we need to grope to find our way. The disorientation makes us wonder: just how big is this place? And – am I alone? Gradually the limits of the space become discernible, and people begin to loom forth in it. The artist challenges us and puts our senses to the test. What are we actually seeing and experiencing here?

In an interview from 2016, Janssens tells about growing up in Kinshasa, spending her days there tinkering and observing a great deal. Her father was an architect, and her mother worked in an art gallery. In the local museum she became acquainted with African art. Architecture, art and the idea of experimenting and observing were part of her early surroundings. Simple discoveries, such as reflections of light that appear on a smoothly polished train rail or while mixing a vinaigrette, frequently prompt a new series of works. The initial attempts begin on a small scale, in her studio, but then she seeks the support of technical specialists in order to achieve the effect that she has in mind. But as Janssens emphasizes in her interview, chance also plays a role in the realization of her work.

We can, in any case, conclude that Ann Veronica Janssens evokes wonder with works that are unusual and ordinary. It’s a bit like the experience of an airplane traveler taking off on a dreary grey day and then passing through a dense layer of clouds. In the luminous white surroundings where patches of fog rush by, points of orientation such as above/below and far/close disappear. Once the plane has risen above the clouds, sunshine abounds. There the bright blue sky offers endless vistas, while an occasional cloud floats by. A Janssens exhibition feels like a rite of passage: ordinary phenomena suddenly assume magical power.

Watch a short video about her work in the Danish Louisiana Museum here.

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Ann Veronica Janssens: "My main material is light" at Kiasma

Photo: Finnish National Gallery / Petri Virtanen

Photo: Finnish National Gallery / Petri Virtanen

Ann Veronica Janssens

My main material is light

Kiasma Museum Of Contemporary Art

Mannerheiminaukio 2, 00100 Helsinki, Finland

12 October - 13 January, 2018

Light art by Belgium-based artist Ann Veronica Janssens fills the galleries on the two top floors of Kiasma in Janssens’ first solo show in Finland.

Janssens has been fascinated by light and associated phenomena ever since she was a child. Many of her works are based on light interacting with liquids, fog, reflecting surfaces and the surrounding space. Janssens seeks to heighten our awareness of these fleeting sensory phenomena.  

In her art, Janssens explores ordinary physical phenomena in highly visible ways. She often finds inspiration for her works in lucky coincidences.

Bicycling on the Fifth Floor

One of the highlights of the show is chromed bicycles that visitors can ride in the large gallery on the fifth floor of Kiasma. Janssens wants to offer the cyclists and other viewers a completely new experience of the space, drawing attention to the transparent materiality of the light and air around us.

Other works in the show includes Orange Sky Blue, a landscape of light that is visible outside the museum from Mannerheimintie, and Untitled (White Glitter), consisting of glitter strewn about the gallery floor at random.

Janssens likes to use surprising materials in her work, such as paraffin oil and reflective surfaces.

Minimal and Subtle

Janssens typically uses only a few materials in her works. For her, art consists not of an object but an experience evoked by light, colour, sound and movement.

The minimalist works invite visitors to move around them and examine them from different angles, to sharpen their senses and to be surprised. Not everything is what it seems at first.  

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Opening this week in Venice

LA BIENNALE DI VENEZIA

13 May – 26 November 2017

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Philippe Parreno installation view, Central Pavilion, Venice Biennale.

Philippe Parreno installation view, Central Pavilion, Venice Biennale.

PHILIPPE PARRENO

VIVA ARTE VIVA

Central Pavilion

Giardini, Venice

 

JORGE PARDO

Applied Arts Pavilion

Arsenale, Venice

Pae White, "Qwalala", work in progress  

Pae White, "Qwalala", work in progress
 

PAE WHITE

LE STANZE DEL VETRO

Island of San Giorgio Maggiore, Venice

12 May 2017 - 30 November 2019

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Qwalala, a monumental new sculpture by artist Pae White, will open to the public on the Island of San Giorgio Maggiore in Venice, coinciding with the 2017 Venice Art Biennale. Qwalala consists of a curving wall made only of solid glass bricks, which occupies the entire area opposite LE STANZE DEL VETRO. At 75 metres long and 2.4 metres high, the 3,000 glass bricks for Qwalala were hand-cast by Poesia Glass Studio in the Veneto region. Each of these hand-cast bricks is unique, owing much to the chance and variation inherent in the artisanal manufacturing process.

ANN VERONICA JANSSENS

Palazzo Fortuny

San Marco, Venice

13 May – 26 November 2017

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To coincide with the 2017 Venice Art Biennale, the Axel & May Vervoordt Foundation and the Fondazione Musei Civici di Venezia will present their sixth and final exhibition: Intuition. The exhibition will explore how different manifestations of intuition have shaped art across geographies, cultures and generations. It will bring together historic, modern and contemporary works related to the concepts of dreams, telepathy, paranormal fantasy, meditation, creative power, hypnosis and inspiration.