Harper’s is pleased to announce Haunted House and Paradise, concurrent solo exhibitions by Deborah Brown and Max Jansons at the gallery’s East Hampton location. The exhibitions will open on June 25, 6–8pm, with a reception attended by the artists.
“There is a moment of transferral…You can refer to it as paradise, call it whatever you want. I like the idea of paradise.”—Brice Marden
Paradise presents a selection of paintings by Max Jansons that reject the didactic in favor of the transformative. A flower becomes a redwood, reflected in the light of the moon, blooming with intricate symmetry in a kaleidoscope of blues through the azure sky. Petals part to reveal golden eyes. The stars fall beneath the horizon, playing with full skirts of golden leaves that sway in secret from bioluminescent stems. We float in the tension between representational and abstract images.
For Jansons, the night and early morning are a time of calm when it is possible to think and feel the world without distractions. It is a time to encounter a secret, to see the poetry of life. He depicts these secrets in brush strokes and gestures that maintain the evidence of a human hand. From afar, Midnight Rider (for Sharon Jones) may appear a cerebral projection of a midnight dream, but up close, the vulnerability of the human experience is evident.
In Angel of the Night, we see the magic time of darkness anthropomorphized. Night is a woman with eyes closed against the light of the moon, stars falling from her dress toward marbled blooms. In Mysterious, a red-ringed eye amidst midnight hues suggests the gaze of another, whose head sits atop a slender stem or neck. Here humanity is an organic figure, an idea in a flower.
To behold the flower, the bloom in Red, or the plume in Starry Night Flower, is to gaze into the organic until its constituent parts each become a portrait. The spirit of Jansons's abstractions are held in each brushstroke and unlocked by the relationship of each image to the viewer with each passing moment. The surfaces of his work are heterogeneous in texture, like the forms they suggest. The artist creates a visual symphony in patterns to invite the viewer to share in its sound, to look, slowly—to enter and be transported.
Max Jansons (b. 1974, New York, NY) received a BFA from University of California, Los Angeles in 1996, and an MFA from Columbia University in 1998. Most recently, his work has been exhibited at Harper’s, East Hampton (2022); Louise Alexander Gallery/AF Projects, Porto Cervo and Los Angeles (2021 and 2020); KARMA, New York (2020); Rebecca Camacho Presents, San Francisco (2020 and 2019); Galerie Lefebvre et Fils, Paris (2018); Charlie James Gallery, Los Angeles (2017); and 5 Car Garage, Santa Monica (2017 and 2016). Jansons’s work has been acquired by institutions, including The Contemporary Museum, Honolulu; The Capital Group, Los Angeles; and Progressive Corporation, Mayfield, OH. Reviews of his work have appeared in Los Angeles Times, New York Times, and San Francisco Chronicle, among other publications. Jansons currently lives and works in Los Angeles.