Compared to his contemporaries, Brice Marden and Terry Winters who share a "specific and identifiable interest in their respective thorough procedures," Dupont writes, "Jensen has remained restless and constantly searching within his painting practice, forgoing the comfort of signature subjects to focus on the process of making a painting... His quest for a single image yields tendencies, not anything that could be described as a brand... His works remain easel sized, and even at their largest, speak in a voice more intimate whisper than bombastic shout for attention. Quiet and unassuming, he is content to allow his pictures to stand for themselves, and as they always seem to be moving, the artist becomes hard to pin down."
Speaking about his new multi-panel paintings Jensen remarks that "it's not a shaped canvas, it's internally divided, so at that physical divide, I can be very abrupt with time and space and make things more complicated like I think they really are... What interests me about these panels is how I can abruptly change the space, the time - the sound of the painting - from panel to panel."
Jensen discusses in depth his the origins of his recent group of triptychs. He remarks: "I think with the physical dimension of the panels, I'm able to more radically change the tone, the darkness, the space, the time in the paintings than I could if it was one single painting. The ones that have only a painted division cannot create as dramatic a change. Physically I’m allowed to make very radical changes with separate panels. And also the drawn elements can go across from one panel to another. There’s lots of freedom you have with these panels—they can be turned around, the starting configuration of the drawing can be changed very quickly just by moving all the panels around."
James Kalm video blogs a visit to an exhibition of new paintings by Bill Jensen at Cheim & Read, New York, on view through February 18, 2012.
Kalm notes that "Jensen is an exemplary practitioner of what is referred to as the contemporary New York School. As a painter with an alchemical knowledge of his materials, the artist is able to create works that virtually emanate a spiritual energy. With this show, and the increase of scale, including a new series of diptychs and triptychs, as well as a reduced palette, Jensen shows the fearless advancement required by his artistic vision."
Caleb De Jong reviews the exhibition Bill Jensen at Cheim and Read, New York, on view through February 18, 2012.
De Jong writes that Jensen's "new paintings provide a tonal and chromatically hushed experience. Brush-marks no longer create unified composition, instead forms float atop the picture plane and splotches of collage-like paint stitch the surface together. Titles such as, 'The Trinity,' 'Song of Songs' and 'Begot' insinuate a turn of mind. Moving away from an 'exterior' optically sumptuous chroma, Jensen's new works posit an interior, ineffable space for contemporary painting."
Edited by artist Brett Baker, Painters' Table highlights writing from the painting blogosphere as it is published and serves as a platform for exploring blogs that focus primarily on the subject of painting.