Tag Archives: Jens Hesse

Jens Hesse @ Canvascollectie Collection RBTF

This Friday Bozar will already unveil the 2012 edition of Canvascollectie Collection RTBF, one of the most comprehensive and somewhat uneven displays of emerging talent in Belgium. Ponyhof Gallery’s Nicolas van Kerckhove and Karen Vermeren are some of the participants of previous editions, so we are quite curious to see what the national jury singled out this year in seven selection phases all over this flat country. We are, however, familiar with one contribution already: the Pope of Ponyhof painter Jens Hesse.

Ce vendredi déjà, le Palais des Beaux-Arts de Bruxelles (le Bozar) dévoilera la sélection finale de l’édition 2012 de la Canvascollectie Collection RTBF, l’une des manifestations les plus larges, certes inégales, ouvertes aux talents dit émergents en Belgique. Deux peintres representés par la Ponyhof Gallery – Nicolas Van Kerckhove et Karen Vermeren – ont été distingués lors des éditions précédentes, nous sommes donc très curieuses de voir ce que le jury national a sélectionné cette année dans les sept phases de pre-sélection dans différents lieux. Nous sommes déjà bien familières avec le travail d’un des sélectionnés: Jens Hesse, un peintre Ponyhof, qui expose son pape.

Jens Hesse, Pope, 2010, 130×80, oil on corduroy / huile sur velours côtelé

Jens Hesse´s Pope, inspired by Francis Bacon´s version of Diego Velasquez ‘Portrait of Innocent X’

Le pape de Jens Hesse, inspirée par l’interprêtation de Francis Bacon du ‘Portrait d’Innocent X’ par Diego Velasquez.

Jens first popped up on our radar in 2010 at an exhibition at Musée d’Ixelles featuring fifteen of his paintings.  I remember enjoying his renderings of digital distorted satellite signals (two versions of the Pope belong to this series) as they exemplified the impact of contemporary photography, film and video on painting today, all while pointing at painting’s enduring ‘added value’: namely its ability to convey further sensations such as touch, temperature, movement and depth.

Nous avons découvert Jens lors d’une exposition au Musée d’Ixelles, où il exposait une quinzaine de ses tableaux. Je me souviens avoir aimé ses rendus des signaux de satelite deformées (les deux papes appartiennent à cette série), démontrant l’impact de la photographie, le cinéma et la vidéo sur la peinture contemporaine, tout en soulevant la plus-value de celle-ci:  notamment, sa capacité à transmettre des sensations supplémentaires comme le toucher, la température, le mouvement et la profondeur.

En prenant pour sujet des modifications indésirables introduites par l'équipement d'imagerie, Jens souligne les échecs de la technologie moderne mais aussi la fausseté des images promulgées par la télévisions. C'est un monde de perfection presumée en train de couper.

Jens Hesse, Bathers, 2010, 195×110, oil on corduroy / huile sur velours côtelé

By taking unwanted alterations introduced by imaging equipment as the topic of his work, Jens highlights the failures of modern technology but also the fake life seen on tv. It is a world of alleged perfections breaking up.

En prenant pour sujet des altérations indésirables accidentellement créées par la télévision numérique, Jens souligne les échecs de la technologie moderne mais aussi la fausseté des images propagandées par la télévisions. Il met en avant un monde soit-disant parfait en train de rompre.

At that time, I did not know that Jens was trained as a fashion designer and worked with an apparel manufacture for several years, which explains his feeling for texture and experiments with fabric effects.

À ce moment-là, je ne savais pas que Jens était styliste de formation et qu’il avait travaillé pendant plusieures années dans la conception des vêtements, ce qui explique sa sensibilité pour la texture et sa recherché sur les effets des différents tissus utilisés en tant que toiles dans ses peintures.

Jens Hesse, Beach, 2010, 120×68, oil on corduroy / huile sur velours côtelé

What happens when we spend more time looking at low-resolution images rather than looking at the world itself?

Qu’est-ce qui change quand nous percevons le monde à travers des images de basse résolution ?

A couple of months later, Jens joined Ponyhof Gallery and I had the chance to see more of his works during our different exhibitions as well as at his home. For My Private Disaster, which took place last autumn, Jens presented work inspired by the interlace effect (a video tool reducing the amount of data transfer by transmitting only half an image, the other half being substituted by dark lines and used to speed up the transfer time).

Jens a rejoint Ponyhof Gallery quelques mois plus tard, ce qui m’a permis de voir et mieux appréhender ses autres peintres lors de nos différentes expositions ainsi qu’à son atelier. Pour ‘My Private Disaster’, qui a eu lieu l’automne derniere, Jens a présenté des oeuvres inspirées par l’effet d’entrelacement (un outil de vidéo qui consiste à accélérer le temps de transfert en transmettant seulement la moitié d’une image, l’autre étant substituée par des lignes sombres).

Jens Hesse, Paradise Beach, 2011, 175×100, oil on corduroy / huile sur velours côtelé

Echoing the blurs of Gerhard Richter, Jens´ technique provides this painting of Thailand´s 2004 tsunami with a feeling of vibration and movement. 

Rappelant les flous de Gerhard Richter, la technique de Jens fournit à cette peinture du tsunami thaïlandais un sentiment de vibration et de mouvement.

On a concluding note, I have to say that one must see Jens´ paintings live in order to properly enjoy their skill and beauty. The JPEGs featured in this blog post are mere appetisers. So head to Bozar or contact us at Ponyhof Gallery for more information.

Canvascollectie Collection RBTF is on from Friday 11 May to Sunday 10 June.
See more of Jens´work at our website.

Pour conclure, je conseille voir les peintures de Jens en vrai afin de vraiment apprécier à la fois la technique employé par Jens ainsi que leur beauté. Les fichiers JPEG présentés dans ce billet ne sont que des teasers pour stimuler votre curiosité. Rendez vous donc au Bozar ou contactez nous à la Ponyhof Gallery pour plus d’information.

> La Canvascollectie Collection RBTF sera exposée du 11 mai au 10 juin.
> Voir d’autres oeuvres de Jens sur notre site web.

— Aleksandra Eriksson —

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Painted images and Photography: When painting relies on digital media (III)

EBERHARD HAVEKOST works as many of his contemporaries at the intersection between photography and painting, abstraction and representation. He bases his work on preexisting pictures (photographs or video found around, in films, on the internet or made by himself), like many do. What I find interesting is that he digitally reworks the images he finds or takes in order to distance the final painted work towards the original source. But most interestingly, it also reveals the interdependence between the traditional medium of painting and new digital media and techniques. Painting, which claims a regained privileged status towards the overabundance of photographs and films also seems to need to build on them.  And Havekost is not the only one to work like this!

Eberhard Havekost (2010) Flatscreen 2 (1,2,3) B 10, oil on linen, each 109 x 69 cm (Courtesy Robert & Tilton)

Eberhard Havekost re-works digitally images by reducing, enlarging, cropping, stretching and even blurring them. His painted images essentially mimic conventions of photography in their use of close-ups and cropping. However, the image is always recognisable and identifiable, the process is rather subtle and is never so extreme to distort completely the images.  His choice of images seem random and of a deliberate banality. In the vein of Luc Tuymans, Havekost seeks to reinforce the idea that images remain indeed just a representation of reality, no matter how real they seem.

Wouter van de Koot, Into the Hills (2011) oil on canvas, 105 x 80 cm (Ponyhof Gallery)

Similarly but with a completely different goal and result, WOUTER VAN DE KOOT also digitally reworks images that he originally took himself or had taken. He re-enacts a emotional event, such as the birth of his son, by staging himself in position evoking this event. The picture is a first time painted to reproduce it quite accurately and skillfully in watercolour, oil or indian ink. But then he developed a process of reworking the same images again and again, cutting and taping parts, scanning and enlarging them, turning them black and white, modifying the colours to obtain in the end an image highly distanced from the source image. This process enables the artist to destitute the image of its emotional charge and treats it as an object. 

Jens Hess, Bathers (2010), oil on curdoroy, 195 x 110 cm (Ponyhof Gallery)

This reliance of painting on digital techniques is even more perceptible in the work of  JENS HESSE which use digitally distorted image to distance himself from reality and show the shortcomings of the flawless digital world in which we are plunged. He often uses curdoroy or other relief  material to render the LCD vertical lines whilst giving thick brushstrokes at some point to remind that it is a painting with all of its subjectivity and not a simple representation of the image.
See painting of the month Wouter van de Koot.

Sunday Gallery for no Sunday painters

Aren’t no news always good news?

As you probably may have noticed, we have not been blogging a lot lately, but only because we have been busy preparing a hell of a programme of Ponyhof activities before the summer and for the fall.

On 12-13 June, we’ll host our first Ponyhof ZondagsGalerij (Sunday Gallery not only for Sunday Painters) in Antwerp Noord. You can now already book a seat for our dinner on Sunday evening (info@ponyhofgallery.com or contact us on our website).

On 8-9 July, we’ll have a pop-up exhibition at the Atelier SOLAR in Antwerp with a cocktail and new vegetarian food on friday night!

For the fall we’ll keep you posted soon enough!

Jens Hesse, Pope 1 (2010), oil on curdoroy, 130 x 80 cm

We also have the honour to welcome a new talented artist in our stable: Jens Hesse, who lives and works in Antwerp. Discover his work on his artist’s personal page and order a PDF catalogue.

Sign up to our mailing list to be kept in the loop, and keep on reading, we promise some new posts very soon!