Homespun Intelligence


The blotchy, delicate, homespun paintings of Sergej Jensen come on slow but pack an edgy, intelligent, sensuous punch. Jensen, 32, deploys an array of techniques and marks; often his work seems to involve only a smidgen of effort, as when his mother knits a pattern of colorful strips that he mounts on canvas or when he simply sews together remnants of stained burlap, denim, or wool. But while his work has the look of Richard Tuttle and mid-century abstraction, Jensen avoids the preciousness of the former and the pretensions of the later.

In actuality, this Berlin-based painter crosses the readymades of Duchamp with the rougher alchemists like Sigmar Polke, Rosemarie Trockel, and Michael Krebber. Jensen’s paintings have a protoplasmic iridescence about them, a cosmic, pressureless space where marks and splotches crossbreed with the structures of thought.