Jens Wolf

13 May - 24 Jun 2006

May 13 – June 24, 2006

We look forward to the first exhibition with Jens Wolf in Galerie Jan Wentrup.
For the exhibition, Jens Wolf did a wall painting that will take up the entire exhibition area. This work therefore continues the tradition of earlier exhibitions where various artists developed site-specific works for the gallery.
„For the Berlin-based artist Jens Wolf (born 1976), the history of abstraction offers a reservoir of models which he appropriated for his painting. Wolf, a graduate of the academy in Karlsruhe, prefers to work with paintings by artists who can be subsumed under the art-historical terms hard edge, systemic painting, constructivism, or concrete art. An umbrella term for all these painting styles is cold abstraction, which is painting without any subjective or distinctive style.
Thus Jens Wolf adapts works by, among others, Josef Albers, Frank Stella, Piet Mondrian, as well as works by American painters like Karl Benjamin or Ilya Bolotowsky, who because of the dominance of American abstract expressionism are less well-known in Europe. In contrast to the painting of cold abstraction that emphasizes the pure evidence of colour in geometrically clear forms that cover the support entirely, Wolf’s painting maintains a lack of ideal perfection. Wolf paints on simple plywood whose natural grain is visible as a part of the paintings, like a slightly disturbing quiet sound underlying the geometrical forms.
Jens Wolf’s formal appropriations go so far that the formerly accepted ideal of the representation of an order independent of space and time is translated to a spatial illusionism and thus moves close to a representation of reality. Square and circle as perfect urforms and therefore as the representative signs for a rational, intellectual and generally applicable order return in Wolf’s paintings slurred, incomplete, and frayed. Pencil lines, traces of the artistic sketches, remain visible and tell us something about the productive trial and error method of his work. The sometimes broken edges of the supports of his paintings point to a use prior to their artistic one. The hinted-at reuse of the plywood sheets short-circuits on a material level with Wolf’s aesthetic processing of cold abstraction.”

Claudia Seidel

© Jens Wolf
o.T. (06-1)
acrylic on wood
250 x 170 cm

Tags: Josef Albers, Karl Benjamin, Ilya Bolotowsky, Piet Mondrian, Frank Stella, Jens Wolf