Résidence — Brussel

Andreas Johnen

Fondation CAB Brussels is pleased to present its 25st artist-in-residence, Andreas Johnen (German, b.1974).

In his practice Andreas uses different methods to saturate paper with colour. He simply applies the paint until the paper can hold no more. Making large, multi-part watercolors, Johnen tapes the paper horizontally to wooden plates and pours paint onto its surface two liters at a time, repeating the procedure up to 120 times. The paper comes to life, swells and convulses under the color as they merge. Although seemingly similar, these monochromes each have a life of their own – and one not just determined by the method that brought them into being, but by the material characteristics of each colour pigment, given time and space to breathe.

The materialisation

My work arises from my interest in understanding what we see. Since I cannot representeverything with every material, my work is preceded by a conscious choice of material. By dealing with conventional materials on an equal footing, their physical propertiesdetermine the aesthetic quality that emerges at the end of the performative productionprocess. The growth process, characterised by repetition, unfolds its power of effectpredominantly in analogue space. Physical and sensual access arise there through sizeand proportional relationships. The sometimes minimal interventions lead to works thatoscillate between figure and architecture through the duration of the processing and thestrain on the materials. Physical and sensual, they mediate between space and theviewer. If one allows oneself to become involved, one will notice that the power thataccompanies this process emerges from the simultaneity of grasping and seeing.