Bio ANITA JENSEN
Born 1957 in Helsinki, Finland
Independent visual artist and printmaker
Teacher in printmaking at Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture / Department of Art / Printmaking Studios / Helsinki Finland
“My art draws attention to the transience of moments, to deformation and the forms and variations of Japanese beauty. It introduces new perspectives on the forms of presentation in visual art, its techniques and materials in the area of photography and graphic art.
“Combining elements of a foreign and faraway culture with personal and familiar photographs has allowed me to constantly acquire new perspectives in my own work,” says Anita Jensen, describing her work.
“I have been a full-time visual artist since 1985. In the early years I focused on intaglio etching techniques, and was soon developing my own printmaking methods, which enabled me to produce large multicolored intaglio prints. From 1990 to 1993, I made what one might call ‘Rorschach tests’ for myself, very large copper plates that I etched with sugar lift and relief printed. The method is fascinating, it gives you endless variations of form from which to choose the ones that I am most interested in. They seemed like large simple forms from nature, mirrored images between the abstract and the figurative. They reminded me of Rococo, or mirrors…
The prints of these mirrored forms started to grow, becoming very, very large, the size of the human body in fact. After my first working trip to Japan in 1994, I returned to the narrative. Using a camera, I began concentrating on the photo polymer and ImagOn gravure techniques, eventually spending six years studying and practicing these new printmaking possibilities. I emerged from the ‘dark room’ in 2000, and have since then focused on large-format pigment printing with inkjet technology. I have experimented with both Western and Japanese materials with the technique, and have presented my work with it for the last 17 years.”
Jensen calls her works surreal photomontages. They are pigment prints of varying sizes that are printed on Western and Japanese printing papers as well as other materials. In exhibitions, the standalone artworks are also used to form spatial ensembles. Traditional Japanese hanging scrolls and hand scrolls have been a source of inspiration for Jensen as she combines old and new techniques and materials unexpected ways.
Actively practicing visual artist working for 33 years in graphic fine art and photography and
30 years as teacher of graphic art at the University of Art and Design (today Aalto University).
See attached biography and CV for a detailed list of prizes and honors received at exhibitions in Finland and abroad. Anita Jensen lives and works at the Myllypuro Artist Village in Helsinki, Finland.
“Anita Jensen succeeds in capturing the core of Japanese culture, arts and aesthetics. It appears in her work in fleeting moments and aesthetic climaxes, unfolding in lucid subliminality or perfectly controlled awareness, and in surprising forms of manifestation. Traditional Japanese aesthetic concepts – the beauty of the lean and withered, the union of the elegant and the grotesque – reoccur throughout her work. These aesthetic polar opposites, or their ‘juxtaposition,’ generate a particular tension in Jensen’s work, which is also manifested as open-mindedness and curiosity, enabling us to observe Japanese culture and art from new but also surprising angles.
On the other hand, Jensen’s works also emphasise the polarity between alien and familiar, and their natural unit, that is characteristic of Japanese culture and society as well. They open up Japanese culture and beauty for us in a new way, clear and unpretentious, yet nuanced with Jensen’s robustly Finnish, powerful expressiveness. The works are like peepholes into another time and place, other lived moments, in the moods of which the viewer can participate as an outside observer.”
Short quotation from essay by;
Minna Eväsoja, PhD, Japanese Studies and Docent in Japanese Aesthetics University of Helsinki
in the book;
Unfolding the Scrolls of Life - Between Times and Places
Publishing House; Maahenki kustannus Helsinki Finland 2018