Andrew Jensdotter’s “Dioramas From Eden” Exhibit
“One hand creates while the other destroys.” — Andrew Jensdotter
In Dioramas From Eden, Jensdotter continues his practice of painting hundreds of layers of iconic pictures of a single subject from Google image searches and popular magazines and then carving through the final amalgamation to create an “original” of his own. What was once representational with a clear focal point becomes a decidedly all-over abstract composition almost archaeological in nature. This laborious and emotional process of erasure synchronizes with the show’s theme – an elaboration on the Garden of Eden and the concept of expulsion from paradise. It derives from a painting called Thistles sold at Untitled Art in Miami in Dec 2021.
The new work is increasingly personal while still plugging into the idea of archetypes. This go-round, the artist focuses on floral landscapes with implicit references to biblical gardens and beauty. The idea of beauty and perfection is willfully cancelled between each of the layers of landscapes which comprise each painting as he covers over each colorful layer with gray or black and begins anew. Painting topics include species that bloom at night, species that are toxic or poisonous, and flowers that bloom in the morning. It is a meditation on coming and going, aspiring to belong after life’s many trials, and casting aside unattainable and confining ideas of perfection.
Jensdotter’s large, carved paintings are complemented by a series of smaller collages that allow him to return to a more experimental and intimate scale. Here he surrenders to imperfection following his curiosity through new media choices that release inhibitions. Comprised of compressed images of pages and cutouts from popular and adult-content magazines, the paper pages are sanded down and abraded much like Jensdotter’s larger paintings. Sculptural work completes the array with structures made from charred broom heads, dowels, and shovel handles suggesting destroyed homes. Competing ideas of domestic safety and danger, belonging and exile prevail.