The Greene Naftali Gallery is pleased to present the first New York exhibitions of Berlin-based artists Sergej Jensen and Stefan Müller. Paintings by each artist will be on display from January 7-February 8, 2003. Jensen and Müller work in a space bordered by abstraction, appropriation and a kind of deskilled approach to craft or handwork. A punk rock undercurrent (as suggested by titles such as "Rumsfeld" and "I'm against it") tempers the seemingly simple, spiritual nature of the work and what looks like effortless markings and stains suggest in a coded vocabulary that art is a state of mind. Combining raw burlap, fine and rough linens, fabric patches and suede with muted or bleached out colors and simple geometric forms, the homemade quality of these works is a refusal or glitch in the confident depersonalization that has dominated painting in recent years. When figuration occasionally appears, as in Jensen’s "rainbows" or Müller's "Love Will Tear Us Apart," which shows the bodies of two giraffes loping off the canvas in opposite directions, it comes as willed earnestness, a reassertion of self.
Paintings by Sergej Jensen (b. 1973 in Maglegaard, Denmark) have been recently exhibited in "Urgent Painting," ARC, Musee d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris (2002) and at Galerie Neu, Berlin (2001). Stefan Müller recently had a solo exhibition at the Christian Nagel Gallery Koln and participated in "Viva November" at the Städtische Galerie Wolfsburg. Both artists will be included in "deutschemalereizweitausenddrei" at the Frankfurter Kunstverein (curated by Nicolas Schafhausen).