German artist Jupp Linssen presents a dialogue between the dimensions of texture and the process of construction in his mixed media works.
Objects, collages, assemblages, paintings: German artist Jupp Linssen works between categories, building up sensuous surfaces from humble materials more commonly associated with construction than art. In addition to paint, his mixed-media work incorporates old wooden slats, zinc sheets, marble dust, concrete, paper, tin, wax, and plaster. He expresses sensitivity to these materials—the weathered, leached-out wood, the soft marble, the oxidized iron—through his richly textured painting, which, in the tradition of modernists like Duchamp or Kurt Schwitters, intentionally blurs the boundary between what is found and what is artistically produced.
Linssen has called painting “the result of something that was eliminated or that which still remains,” a statement both matter-of-fact and bold in its claim for painting as the pure residue of process. His grey-tinged palette stays close to the quality of earth and raw substances, as if to underline the elemental and ancient nature of painting. Though their physical make-up is complex, his images are simple and light, giving an airy second life to even the heaviest materials. In his latest work, smooth ovals in muted hues float over the picture plane, recalling air bubbles, computer animations, or single-celled organisms. Minimal grids give certain works a loose architectural structure, containing the floating forms in window-like spaces.
Linssen’s art rewards close observation and embraces the idea that if one is open to their possibilities and properties, unassuming materials contain integrity and beauty. Born in Germany in 1957, he studied with renowned minimalist painter and sculptor Joachim Bandeau and lives and works in Aachen and the Netherlands. He has taught at the Art Academy in Düsseldorf and exhibited widely in Germany and abroad, with work included in the collections of the German government, the Ludwig Forum for International Art, Aachen, and the Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen Museum, Düsseldorf.