Jesper Christiansen’s paintings are full of references and rich in detail. Throughout his practice, he has unfolded several different painterly expressions. What they all have in common is how they point back at inspirational sources from literature, music, and visual art. With Jesper Christiansen, painting is a language that can be examined through series. His White Chair Paintings from the end of the 1980s until the middle of the 1990s communicate a minimalistic, form investigating painting as well as an occupation with structure in the image surface, shown in the quivering white brushstrokes. His Word Paintings from the 1990s stand as a semiotic practice and an absolute devotion to language, its signs, and structures, and to the understanding of how a single letter, first and foremost, is an image.
Jesper Christiansen’s most recent works, such as the series Virginia Woolf Paintings, Paradise Paintings, and The Four Seasons, are all painted on black-grounded canvas. They are paintings of landscapes and interiors, mystical, compounded, and intensively figurative. The colors lighten up from the dark surface, and in several places, writing appears and is only just readable as titles and quotations originating from music and literature. Jesper Christiansen’s paintings are streams of consciousness; they encapsulate a cultivation of beauty and epic storytelling.
Jesper Christiansen (1955, DK) studied at The Royal Danish Academy of Arts in Copenhagen from 1981-1988, where he also functioned as a professor from 2003-2008. Jesper Christiansen has most recently had solo exhibitions at Ordrupgaard, Skovgaard Museum, Odsherred Art Museum, GL Strand, Brandts, Glyptoteket, and Le Bicolore in Paris. His works are part of several Danish art museums’ collections, such as SMK, ARoS, and HEART. Furthermore, he is represented in international collections in USA, Germany, and Sweden. Jesper Christiansen has created decorations for Frederikskirken – The Danish Church in Paris, Copenhagen City Court, Frederik VIII’s Palace, and the Copenhagen Opera. He has received several grants and awards, such as The Danish Art Foundation’s lifelong honorary grant and The Eckersberg Medal.
Op Alle De Ting (Martin A. Hansens cykeltur), 2019-20 acrylic, chalk, coloured pencil, 2H pencil and gesso on linen, 270 x 250 cm, private collection (photo: Henrik Hjertholm)
Paradismaleri #XI (Zig Zaggy Have), 2015, acrylic on canvas, 184 x 250, private collection (photo: Jan Søndergaard)
Tagfatmaleri, 1999, acrylic and gesso on canvas, 180×210 cm, Kvarterhuset Kolding (photo: Maronica Lauridsen)
Visitmaleri, 1995, acrylic on canvas, 180×180 cm, National Gallery of Denmark (photo: Maronica Lauridsen)