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Servie Janssen (1949-2018)

Schermafbeelding 2021-02-18 om 15.26.00

Servie Janssen (1949-2018) Dutch artist studied in the Kraków Academy of Fine Arts in 1971. His connection to Poland ran through his whole career as a passionate artist and performer. On the 14th of July 2018 in a conversation between Servie Janssen and Nell Donkers, Janssen mentioned the influence and his close relation to the artistic movement constructivism, and especially to Kazimir Malevich. In the same conversation Servie Janssen emphasized that he finds the publication “Pier+Ocean: Construction in the art of the seventies” (Arts council of Great Britain, 1980) the most important.
After “I Am” and “Works and Words” Janssen also took part in the international exhibition Construction in Process (Konstrukcja w Procesie) in 1980 in Łódź, Poland. He wrote in an email: “What strikes me about Poland is that this line of constructivism that started with Kazimir Malevich and Henrik Stazewski – in no other former Eastern Bloc country you will find this in such a way – (Stazewski was a member of the honorary committee for Konstrukcja w Procesie) – and they saw in my 9 rectangles work a promising link to current events, all the more so since a whole generation of conservatives were still finding their way, in a kind of surrealism and absurdism in art (especially graphic artists).” The documentation of his 9 rectangles performance (the one he performed in Works and Words) was exhibited and he performed “This side is Red” during which he read titles of Friedrich Nietzsche’s works while lying on the floor next to a neon sign.
Janssen held a performance combined with an exhibition in De Appel in 1978. Art critic, Marga van Mechelen in her book “De Appel 1975-1983” writes that Janssen’s performance was influenced by his journey to Canada.
Later, as Louwrien Wijers writes in a witness report, Janssen’s artistic development was defined by his interest in shapes in space. In Works and Words Servie Janssen held a performance in the Kapel venue on the 26th of September in 1979. During the performance Janssen repeatedly built and deconstructed structures of wooden sticks, originally in the shapes of 9 rectangles.

www.ftn-books.com has a copy of the scarce Servie Janssen publication from 1978

servie janssen

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