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Jürgen Messensee - Realities

Category: Exhibition 14. September 2013

At the Bank Austria Kunstforum in Vienna the artist Jürgen Messensee shows quintessences of his artistic work from the past ten years. CastYourArt visited his atelier and the exhibition and produced an artist-portrait.

In Jürgen Messensee’s pictures there is the erotic aspect of movement: to encounter, to find or lose each other, you have to be constantly on the move – in a movement of perpetual exploration.

Shapes allude to women, organs, body parts, exploring the canvases’ surface with compositions, yet avoiding direct symbolic references to natural forms. Each one of these shapes evokes a sensual situation; by a gesture, a posture or a direct hint about the surrounding.
Like peepers do we not only enjoy the pleasure of gazing at a being with a different sexual identity, but we also relish identifying a scene that transports us into an intimate space, giving us hints about the location where the scene is unfolding before our eyes. On the one hand this is a kind of aesthetic pleasure and on the other hand it permits access to the various modes of being of our sexual selves, shedding some light on our personal uncertainties. These abstract figural paintings narrate the transformations and inhibitions inherent to all sensual encounters.
Time and again, we encounter visual synecdoches in Messensee’s art, standing in detail for a whole entirety, where a little fragment tells us more about depicted the person or the space. A constant dialogue between figuration and abstraction takes place, an irruption into pure abstract forms, where formal rigour is combined with informal spaces.

His signs are like hieroglyphs, like remnants of an explosion of the disintegrating signifier. The sign conveys something that is beyond its reach and cannot be touched, thence probably this connotation with a caress.
His pictures record the process of their own construction. The image space is the dual evidence of spontaneous impulses and responses, controlling and orienting the pulsating progression of his discourse. An intervention of two states of mind: One that is similar to the automatism of the abstract expressionists and a different one owed to artistic craftsmanship and marked by a deep knowledge and respect for the tradition.
Here the discipline of the gaze finds a form of articulating all the rigorous accuracy of perception. The lyrical gesture mutates into an analytical and methodical incision where every medium provides its own visual poetry to the artist.
Combining his graphical talent with his specific unique style in manifold applications, he collects everything on the surface - but only in order deconstruct the pictures afterwards, concentrating of the non-finishing of things instead of striving for unattainable perfection.
Once immersed in the process of positioning the expression of his inner sensations into the foreground, Messensee returns to the territory defined by its cardinal points: transcendence and the necessity of expressing his relation to the other.
This other might be inwardness, memory, nostalgia or imaginary experience. The imagery goes beyond a pictorial repertoire of gestures, colours, rhythm and forms, bearing witness to their payload of meaning. Not in order to represent but to present: To present the results of Messensee’s research into the nature of existence. (written by Cem Angeli)

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