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Indepth Arts News:

"Concordance: Alfred Jensen"
2001-09-19 until 2001-12-30
Dia Center for the Arts
New York, NY, USA

Concordance, an exhibition of key works by the painter Alfred Jensen (1903-81), opens at Dia Center for the Arts on September 19, 2001. Included are large-scale multi-part paintings that span the artist's mature career. Composed in checkerboard, wheel-like, and other patterns, they elaborate Jensen's complex cosmological theories. A highlight of the show will be Jensen's final artistic statement, the monumental Great Pyramid (1979), which will be on public exhibition for the first time.

Jensen was in many ways an autodidact, his aesthetic informed by the study of a broad range of esoteric interests, including the color theories of Goethe, the writings of Leonardo da Vinci, Pythagorean geometry, Mayan and ancient Chinese calendars, the I Ching, Greek religious rituals, and Michael Faraday's theories of electromagnetic forces.

Jensen's highly individual style matured at the end of the 1950s. Although related to the work of certain Abstract Expressionists, notably Mark Rothko, his work can be read in relation to the systems of measurement, chronology, and duration developed by certain artists of the 1960s and 1970s, such as Alighiero e Boetti, Hanne Darboven, and On Kawara, who have exhibited at Dia.

Although Jensen's unique fusion of metaphysics, sign systems, and painterly handling made him something of an outsider, he exhibited widely in New York and Europe through the 1960s and 1970s. In 1977 he represented the United States at the fourteenth So Paulo Bienal with work that subsequently traveled to six U.S. cities. In 1985, a posthumous retrospective was held at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York. Jensen's paintings are in the permanent collections of major museums in the United States, Europe, and Japan.

Alfred Jensen was born in 1903 in Guatemala to a Danish father and a Polish-German mother. He spent his early years in Denmark; in the mid-1920s, among other training, he briefly attended Hans Hoffman's art school in Munich and academies in Paris. He traveled widely until 1951, when he settled in New York City.

Support for this exhibition has been provided by the members of the Dia Art Council.

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