Almine Rech London is pleased to present its first solo exhibition of American artist Marcus Jansen, on view from January 13 until February 19, 2022. This will be Marcus Jansen's second solo exhibition with Almine Rech.
Each year, at 11 am on 11 November, the world falls silent to remember those who lost their lives in the battlefields of World War I. The so-called Great War was meant to be the war to end all wars, but since then, countless other conflicts have unleashed their horror and despair across the globe. Again and again, governments insist that the best way to resolve an argument is to kill. How to disrupt this terrible cycle of violence? Art is one way.
Unlike many of the artists whose work protests the cruelties of war, Marcus Jansen’s searing paintings and sculptures evolved from his direct experience. After spending his formative years in the Bronx and Queens in New York, and then in Monchengladbach in Germany, he joined the United States Army. He was deployed in 1990 to the Gulf War, and then later to Korea and Germany, after eight years he returned home, diagnosed with PTSD. He told me, “I know people who did four, five, six tours and I don’t know how you could do that and come back and function as a human being.” Back in the United States, his rehabilitation included art therapy; painting gave him the language to explore what he had been through. “Art”, he says, “saved my life. It’s the ultimate celebration of my freedom.”
— Jennifer Higgie, writer and art critic