UNIT A Contemporary Art Space will exhibit Marcus Jansen’s first large works of 2012 during a free reception on July 6 that is being held in conjunction with Art Walk.
The late art critic and museum director Jerome Donson recognized Jansen as an ‘innovator of Urban Expressionism, a term that refers to a style of German expressionism that is informed by Jansen’s experiences in graphic design, graffiti art and urban landscape painting.
Jansen studied expressionism during a two year apprenticeship in Germany. While his landscapes show strong North American influences, Jansen himself refers to them as universal in nature and in rendering his compositions, he draws appropriately on his extensive travels which include not only the years he resided in Moenchengladbach, Germany, but time spent visiting family and friends in the Netherlands, France and Italy, as well as his tour of duty in Iran in 1990 during Desert Storm following his enlistment in the U.S. Armed Forces.
Jansen’s fascination with graffiti art goes back to his youth when, as a kid, he rode the subway from homes in the Bronx and Long Island to the other parts of New York City in cars decorated by aerosol artists with painted cartoon-like characters and colorful letters. In fact, the intrepid Jansen even cajoled Manhattan graffiti legend WESTONE to take Jansen under his wing.
After being out of commission following emergency surgery earlier this year, Jansen is back in full swing and has recently completed his first large scale works of 2012. Recognized largely for his politically and socially charged large paintings, Jansen is exhibiting at UNIT A on July 6th Imminent Threat (left), an oil enamel and collage painting measuring 108 x 72 inches. As art critic Justin Ferraro notes, “as a veteran of the Gulf War educated in Europe, Jansen has a unique and multi-faceted worldview. Through the use of potent images and, in some cases, scrawled text, Jansen conveys a political voice … a powerful commentary with a subversive political edge.”
The 7,000 square-foot lofted UNIT A Contemporary Art Space exhibits Jansen’s newest works in two gallery rooms in the front of the building. Selections from his permanent collection of works spanning his 15 year career are exhibited in two vast concrete museum-like rooms in the back. The raw, warehouse feel of the gallery is concordant with Jansen’s urban expressionist paintings, which are rife with symbolic reference to city decay.
UNIT A Contemporary Art Space is located at 1922 Evans Avenue in downtown Fort Myers. For more information, please visit http://www.unitaspace.com or telephone 239-849- 7772.