Youri Messen-Jaschin is an artist of Latvian origin, he was born in Arosa-Switzerland.
His artistic studies brought him to the Ecole Supérieur Nationale des Beaux-Arts. He was a pupil of professor and master Robert Cami and also attended the Hautes Études of the Sorbonne University, which included, History of Art, with professor Pierre Francastel from the Ecole Pratique, in Paris.
From 1962 to 1965 he returned to the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Lausanne, where he worked with the engraver and painter Ernest Pizzotti. He debuted his creations at the Lausanne EXPO, in 1964 (Swiss fair), where he presented his kinetic sculptures of glass and acrylic resin.
Youri was searching for new forms of art. He worked two years in The Center of Contemporary Engraving in Geneva. But it was in Zurich that he expanded his pictorial perspective with the experience of the circle above the face, influenced by the Swiss painter Friederick Kuhn.
From 1968 to 1970, he studied at the University of Högskolan for design & Konsthantwerk of Gothenburg, where he made kinetic objects of textiles. In 1967, he met Jesús-Rafaël Soto, Carlos Cruz-Diez and Julio Le Parc during an exhibition at the Kunstmuseum of Gothenburg. By speaking with these artists, he became fascinated by optical art. He then decided to dedicate more and more of his time researching kinetic art. Youris investigations and research with optic art had a lot repercussion in Scandinavia, where he had the opportunity to exhibit his work in various museums, which was considered very avant-garde.
In 1968, Youri received First Prize in Swiss Contemporary Art of Engraving. On the same year, he was granted a Scholarship from the Swedish Government.
In 1970, he created a kinetic sculpture for the American company Gould, at Heistetten, in Germany. He also had the privilege to sell his Pop Art style single tapestry "More Light" to Musée Migros of Contemporary Art, in Zurich. This unique piece was conceived when he lived in New York and met the Pop Art artists - Andy Warhol, Tom Wesselmann and Jasper Johns. He was enthusiastic and fascinated by the possibilities of colors in this style of art.
This tapestry was woven during the Seventies in his work-studio at Zollikofen, in Switzerland. This tapestry is part of the collection of Migros Vaud, in Switzerland.
After spending a long period in New York, Youri returned to Switzerland and settled in Bern, where he lived for eleven years. During that times he held many exhibitions at the Kunsthalle and also in other museums in the area. There were many museums interested in his work, such as the Kunsthaus of Zurich, Ecole Polytechnique Federal of Zurich, the Cabinet of Prints, of Geneva.
The Museum Royal des Beaux Art, in Brussels, Stedelijk Museet, and private collectors from the United States, Canada, Japan and Europe have also added Youris kinetic works to their collections.
His creations were also very well received in Venezuela where he resided for a few years. The Foundation Mendoza and Yonekura Industrial gave him the financial support he needed to pursue and expand his research. Youri designed stage at the Sala of Conciertos del Ateneo and Teatro Ana Julia Rojas del Ateneo in Caracas, where he was well received. He was invited, on several occasions, to set up the theater and to choreograph on stage his own writings.
His various experiences abroad enabled him to form a bond with artists from many parts of the world, who also were part of the same artistic movement. He was invited to present his theater performance art in various venues: VI Festival Internacional de Teatro, Fundacion Eugenio Mendoza, Association Cultural Humboldt (Goethe Institute) and the Alliance Française.
Architecture plays a significant role in Youris painting and sculptures. In the vocabulary of the Op Art movement (kinetic art,) the architectural space is everything. He also exchanged ideas about his research with Oscar Niemeyer and Burle Marx, in Rio de Janeiro, Otake in São Paulo, Brazil, and Clorindo Testa, in Buenos Aires.
In 1985, he received the first world prize of culture Premio Mondiale della Cultura statua della Vittoria from the Central Studi e Ricerche delle Nazioni, in Calvatone, Italy. At the same time, he became an Academician of Europe by the Università E Centro Studi e Ricerche of Europa, in Italy.
Youris sculptures are enriched by the movement, placed in the environment (the movement of space), supplemented by sounds of concrete music (the movement then starts with the sounds). His first research with the sounds dates from the end of the Sixties. The sculptures are enriched by the movement, placed in the environment (the movement of space), and completed by music sounds concrete (movement starts the sounds). The first researches with sound and movement combined together dates from the end of the 60s. Already in the 70s, Youri integrates the neon into his optical art, which he continues even to use today in his sculptures, his installations, and also in his oil paintings.
Youri has participated in many international exhibitions and has received prizes for research in optical art, in Italy. His work is shown in many specific and collective exhibitions and his works are also part of private collections and national and international museums.
These works impose the deprogramming of mental on the profit of the pure feeling which is the "starter" of any daydream. Its compositions of colors traced on materials playing the transparency, reproduce particularly subtle kinetic structures which connect abstracts it and the illusion on the one hand and a psychophysiologic demonstration of the movement on the other hand. Basic element, the square is used as background and grows rich by another geometrical form inserted in its sides. These geometrical forms reproduced uniformly on all the surface of work, develop gradually without losing their identity, even when the artist applies an irritating screen of lines parallels. Its colors of predilection: strong reds, yellows, greens, nuances of blue, colors luminous. Just like the algorithmic construction of the the elements, the play of the colors plastic structure it and try the first integration of cybernetics to art.
His method, empirical, creates new perceptions of the colors and visual effects particularly striking. The geometrical forms such as the square, the triangle or the circle develop gradually without losing their original identity.
What makes Youri Messen-Jaschin part of this movement is how he uses the color as meaning of communication which puts the artist among the kinetic architects of space.
From 2004 to 2005, he stayed for several months in Sydney, Australia. He got familiar with the cliffs of the Pacific to experiment putting them in movement in its optical work. His art, which has been in exhibitions around the world in many individual and collective exhibitions, is now part of private collections and national and international museums. Youri Messen-Jaschin is without context eminent representing of the European culture.
Youri is also a specialist in body art painting. He often exhibits his work in clubs where he used UV lamps. Usually takes 4 hours for him to paint an entire body with psicodelic colors and biologic paint, which does not damage the skin. The body looks like is wearing a very tight outfit, says Youri. The young woman excited by the the techno-music, that he usually plays on the background, all want to be transformed.
(René Neuenschwander art critic Bern)
Katalog der Deutschen Nationalbibliothek
USA - Library of Congress
Virtual International Authority file