Albert Janzen was born in 1989 in Siberia and grew up in Germany. After 13 years at the School of Music and Art he decided to follow his artistic path autonomously alongside studying Philosophy and Mathematics in Berlin. It was during this time that he discovered his love for the line. He went to London to study Logic and became acquainted with the contemporary art scene. There he became inspired by the autonomous work of Cy Twombly, Gerhard Richter and Zao Wou-Ki. In 2015 Albert won the first Luxembourg Art Prize whilst finishing his Masters in Logic at the University of Amsterdam.
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Abstraction is always some form of liberation. To create an abstract piece of art can mean to create a piece of art that is free from representing something figurative like a landscape or a human body. Instead, colours and shapes can be used to represent abstract ideas such as the artist's emotional inner state. To achieve a higher form of abstraction one has to create something that does not represent anything other than itself. How is that possible?
One option is to create only the most fundamental visual structures, like the line. Lines are among the most intuitive means to perceive and understand our environment. They are a fundamental component of everything that we see and we depend on them to represent what we see. In order to see a line, however, we depend on nothing but the line itself. The line is so fundamental that it is constructed by nothing other than itself. In this sense, the line is like an independent, living creature.
My drawings have no other purpose than to present lines as independent creatures that move by themselves. Yet, they cannot escape representing more than themselves. On one level, they embody formal aspects of images such as vertical or horizontal orientations, abundance, emptiness, brightness, darkness, lightness, gravity or swiftness. On a metaphorical level, they remind us of motifs and structures of nature: grass, flocks of birds, flowers, hair or the universe.
Nature itself is not created by humans and therefore does not represent any ideas. The fact that my lines resemble structures in nature therefore corresponds to the overall intention that my lines are independent creatures.
Focussing on independent structures, such as lines, is a way to find a common ground of perception whilst allowing for different interpretations. We all see the lines, yet we see different objects in them, have different associations, feelings, ideas about them. Most importantly, we all know that we see lines. And we all know that what we see in those lines, is only our interpretation of those lines.
In current times it is more important than ever to see reality as it is and to be able to question one's beliefs. My lines are an invitation to sharpen our senses to differentiate between what is the case and what we want to be the case.