Jens Fänge, Summer, 2009 © Jens Fänge. Courtesy of Galleri Magnus Karlsson, Stockholm

Jens Fänge

The space appears to have been condensed in Jens Fänge’s recent paintings. Retakes of scenes and the uniformly lit colours appear to contract the picture into a more confined area than ever before.

Our clues to a coherent narrative are multiplied, yet their ambiguity remains. The location of the paintings is just as hard to define. Their contents is just as obscure, but as plainly presented as always. The lustre of the objects fixes them in the spatiality of the painting, in relation to the seductively overlapping colour planes that hover like crystals in their own dimension. In Fänge’s paintings, illusion blends with abstraction. Realistic perspectives co-exist with that of dreams, generating a kind of metaphysical matter-of-factness.

His paintings are held together by a contradictory logic. The subject from one work appears as a detail in another. Or is it the other way round? Where does a painting begin and end? Is it really at the edge of the canvas, despite the obvious allusion to a continuation outside – or beyond – the painting? Jens Fänge’s distinct excerpts further diffuse the muddled chronology of the paintings. Time has stopped in the pictures, and yet it progresses. In the painting Summer (2009), a few human figures are climbing into a sculpture resembling a cranium. Perhaps on their way into another picture? The eye sockets of this giant playground sculpture are both alluring and abysmal. Even if no paint tins are visible, the sculpture appears to be wet with paint. A layer of white paint is collecting in drops down on the ground. But wasn’t the ground striped before?

Jens Fänge

Born 1965 in Gothenburg
Lives and works in Stockholm


1989–94 Konsthögskolan Valand/Valand School of Fine Arts, Göteborg/Gothenburg
1987–89 Hovedskous Målarskola, Göteborg/Gothenburg

Selected solo exhibitions

2009 En lång ljus vecka, Galleri Erik Steen, Oslo [NO]
2009 Blänk och strålar, Galleri Magnus Karlsson, Stockholm
2006 Maison du peuple, Galleri Magnus Karlsson, Stockholm

Selected group exhibitions

2009 Samtidigt, Borås Konstmuseum, Borås
2008 Carnegie Art Award, Kiasma, Helsingfors/Helsinki [FI]
2007 Painting, Space, and Society, Göteborgs Konsthall, Göteborg/Gothenburg

Selected bibliography

Jerker Virdborg, Jens Fänge, Blänk och strålar (utst.kat./exh. cat.), Galleri Magnus Karlsson, 2009.
Gertrud Sandqvist, Jens Fänge – Profane illuminator, Langenskiölds Förlag, 2005.
Christian Viveros-Fauné, A Dandy in the Present Tense, Langenskilds Förlag, 2005.

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