Paintings/Constructions | David Janzen

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2nd Story Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of work by Calgary artist David Jenzen. The exhibition, titled "Paintings/Constructions" span a two year period from 1983 - 1985 and reflect a shift from "straight" painting to a more "hammer oriented" approach: odd tensions arise from the difference between life painting and a constructive ethic. Common objects find themselves fastened to wall shrapnel and small appliances hit galvanized tin. These are journals of cabin fever: pictures of time spent here. 

Artist Statement

I've done a bit of jumping around. I came out of art college with an intense interest in direct perceptual "life" painting. Prior to that I had developed a lust for photo derived, collaged imagery as well as a curious attraction to almost completely non-objective "built" paintings which generally defied a conservative format.

With this body of work, I began making an empirical, controlled sort of painting and later reacquainted myself with less traditional avenues. This has led to a "tow-headed" stance toward more or less flat pictures as is spawning many hybrids in which almost anything goes. "found" imagery dominates many of these works. At times, I see a real object as being more to the point and direct than its painted facsimile. To simply attach a thing to a support, when warranted, makes sense. Even moving away from easel painting seems, in my case, to have much to do with easel painting in that the subject is still presented naturally. Clarity and spatial articulation are at odds with format (or the lack thereof) and the results can be surprising and fun. 

These paintings are accountable in terms of describing locale; nothing here to deny that they were made in a Northwest Calgary basement; close to home, content-wise. 

I'm delighted by hidden qualities in common, household items; the banal becomes sinister, humorous, or personified. The river becomes a reductive metaphor. Casual observation or close scrutiny of the poetry and grace of everyday things offers rewards and entrenches happiness.


David Janzen

David Jensen graduated from the Alberta College of Art in 1983. he grouped up with Derek Ennett and Jack Niven at the Pheonix Gallery in Vancouver last November for "Juggernaut Tableau", taking a "roundhouse swing at tradition" while gathering solid response during 1984's Art City.