-- A Cyberspace Review Of The Arts

Volume 17.17
May 10, 2010

Robert Sievert
Editorial Associates:
Eva Sievert


Publisher and Webmaster:
ETAOIN / Gordon Fitch
Artezine is a New York City - based review of the Arts and Culture by artists for artists.

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click on picture for press release

Bill Jensen
at Cheim and Read

Bill Jensen: Linen

Bill Jensen: Linen

by Juan Seoane Cabral


Bill Jensen: Linen-1

There is an ancient Chinese story in which a sage is asked by one of his disciples about transcending the self. As a reply, the sage said "You have heard the music of people, but not the music of earth. And if you have heard the music of earth, you haven't heard the music of heaven. When the great earth breathes, we call it wind. When the wind blows, all the holes in nature roar with sound. Initially the wind sings one note; what follows sings another note to harmonize. Gentle breeze whispers softly; gusty wind bellows loudly.

The disciple asked further, "The music of earth comes from all the openings in the wilderness; the music of people is from flutes and musical instruments. What about the music of heaven?" The sage replied, "All these thousands of different sounds are produced by different shapes of the holes that the wind blows through. What made them that way? What do you suppose is the activating force behind it all?"

The story ends with this open question. The sage, aware of the expectations of his disciple, decides not to give more explanations so he can ponder this question by himself.

I found one possible answer in the recent paintings by Bill Jensen. In his art works I see an artist who thought through the statement made by Jackson Pollock, "I am nature." The meaning behind this statement appears now to be that in order to create a truthful and organic artwork the artist has to become an embodiment of all the rhythms, harmonies and even the contradictions inherent in nature.

Bill Jensen:  WITH COLOR XXXVIII 2009 (egg tempera on paper) In Bill Jensen's works there is a sensible dialogue between the artist and the elements of painting. Color, brushwork, surface and scale are entirely accepted as living organisms. In acknowledging these independent lives, the artist is not forcing them into any direction. In front of the artwork the artist knows that its plastic values are universal and timeless. The satisfactions of representational art are left behind and substituted for the challenge of pairing the life of the artwork that now presents itself not only as an image but as a force of nature.

If we can see some references to nature is not because the painter is looking outside in order to create these images. The same way the musical composer doesn't necessarily need to listen to the sounds of music in nature in order to compose, the artist creates complex imagery by seeing within himself the wide-open wilderness that has been growing inside of him for all his artistic life.

Questioning the same manifestation of his images, Bill Jensen goes further into detail to relate to Universal truisms. In his artworks the act of painting is not so much about painterly process as it is about the all time existential exploration of what lies underneath the universal cycles of creation and destruction.

(Bill Jensen at Cheim and Read Feb 18 - Mar 27)

Juan Seoane Cabral is an artist and writer living in New York and is a contributing editor and writer to Artezine.

Copyright © 2010 Juan Seoane Cabral


Back to the Front

Pinhole Camera

Peter Halley


Man Ray


Book Reviews

Stuart Sherman Returns

Street Art Report

Taller Artifex at Blue Mountain Gallery

David Mollet at the Bowery Gallery

Socrates Goes To The Country

German Art at Blue Mountain Gallery

Lousie Guerin at Blue Mountain Gallery

Nicolas Carone at Washburn Gallery

Diana Manister: Visual Poetry

A New Format

Artezine 16

Artezine 15

Artezine 14

Artezine 13



May 10, 2010