Marcus Jansen: Stop, Look and Listen

7 September - 12 October 2019 Paris

"Marcus is the innovator of Modern Expressionism. What initiated it for him, was the graffiti on the sides of subway trains when he traveled from the Bronx to Manhattan to sell his work on the street. This is somewhat reminiscent of Jackson Pollock learning to kneel with the Hopi Indians and throw sand to make sand pictures. That innovation may have been the beginning of Abstract Expressionism."
- Jerome A. Donson, Former Director of “The American Vanguard Exhibitions in Europe” (Action Paintings), 1961, MOMA, Museum of Modern Art, NY)

“Once upon a time…” here is a true fairy tale in the world of contemporary art that we discover through the life of Marcus Jansen. Noticed primarily by the American curator Jérôme Donson who organized exhibitions of artists such as Jackson Pollock, Robert Rauschenberg, Jasper Johns, Willem de Kooning and Franz Kline in the 1960s, Marcus Jansen did not know any path or ease.

It is precisely Marcus Jansen's special career that makes his painting an experience poignant. Marcus Jansen, born in New York (1968) is nevertheless raised first in New York and then in Germany, the country of birth of his father. But in the early 90s he joined the US armed forces and found himself without consideration or preparation in the heart of the “Desert Storm”. In front of the violence of the fighting, traumatized, he gets reformed and returns to New York where he tries to sell his paintings on the sidewalks of Soho to survive.

The armed conflict, but also the intensity of the urban environment, are the catalysts of its inspiration, inspiring him with very expressive paintings, where post-urban Cataclysmic are the bed of his imagination. Described as "Urban Expressionist", Marcus Jansen explores the world around him with both strength and poetry, flirting with the abstract and the figurative.

Marcus Jansen’s work was recently presented in a solo exhibition at the Milan Triennale, at the Museum Fine Arts in Taiwan and Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art which has also acquired his works, just like the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.
The documentary “Marcus Jansen: Examine & Report”, directed by director John Scoular, echoes this extraordinary journey.