Sergej Jensen


dépendance is pleased to present its third solo exhibition with Sergej Jensen. Beginning in the early-2000s Jensen became well known for so-called “painting without paint,” creating abstractions using found textiles and their ancillary marks. Jensen’s spare, expansive works were said to avoid all signs of willful expression, forgoing painterly gesture for apparently received forms. Since 2013 Jensen developed a new body of work conspicuous for seeming to break with his signature style. As with Jensen’s sewn abstractions this new body of work invokes a tradition of high painting, adopting its conventions but setting apart or emptying out its symbolic or expressive ambitions.

The paintings in the exhibition portray poetic and moody allegorical treescapes, in which Renaissance, Romantic or Modernist styles of different sources (from Joachim Patinir to Albert Pinkham Ryder to Frances Picabia), are rendered with a technique resembling tempera or fresco painting, using translucent pigment applied thinly in many layers. Among the works on view are Untitled (tree), a painting which refers in its subject and composition to Gustav Courbet’s Le Chêne de Flagey (The Flagey Oak Tree) The oak tree in the painting was located on Courbet’s family farm in Flagey, Ornans. His painting of the oak, whose huge foliage extends beyond the borders of the frame, represents the raw power of nature. It’s been said that this enigmatic work was actually a self-portrait — a sign of his rootedness in the countryside of his childhood and also a symbol of druidic wisdom.

Sergej Jensen (born 1973, Maglegaard, Denmark) lives and works in New York. Recent and upcoming solo exhibitions include White Cube, London (2016), Galerie Buchholz, New York (2015), Berlinische Galerie, Berlin (2013); MoMA P.S.1, New York (2011); Portikus, Frankfurt (2010); Aspen Art Museum, Aspen (2010); KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin (2009); Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich (2008); Malmö Konsthall, Malmo (2008); and Kunsthalle Bergen, Bergen (2008). His work is in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Guggenheim Museum, New York; Tate Modern, London; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; and the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris.