Arjan Janssen (NL)

°1965, Eindhoven, NL
Lives and works in Breda, Netherlands

1985 - 1990 Art Academy St.Joost Breda
1987 - 1988 Philosophy University Amsterdam
2011 - 2012 Social Work Youthcare Eindhoven

1991 - 2016 Artists Initiative Rosa Breda
2015 - 2018 Artists Initiative Abstracte Breda/Dordrecht


EXPO (selection)

Bjorn * Gundorph Gallery Aarhus (DK) (solo)
PEK - Visserhallen IJmuiden (curated by ABSTRACTE)
Trottoir event - Bogert Gallery Knokke-Heist (BE)
The end of the beginning - Nonsofia Sofia (BG)
Apollowlands - Kunstenhuis Harelbeke (B)

Apollowlands - Ruimte Galerie PS60 Assen
Razende Stilstand - Stedelijk Museum Breda
Noordbrabants Museum Den Bosch
Vanwege Vincent - Stedelijk Museum Breda


Galerie Kim Behm Mannheim (DE) (solo)
Holly Hunt London (GB) (solo)
Van Gogh naar nu - Vincent Van Gogh Huis Zundert

Waar begint donker en hoe eindigt licht Contemporary Art Pavilion Kasteelstraat1 Watou (BE) (solo)
Raketstart Stedelijk Museum Breda
Niets absoluut Princenhaags Museum Breda (curator)
Concreet Zutphen Dat Bolwerck Zutphen
Zomerexpo SBK Breda

Holly Hunt Miami (US)
Constructor Galerie Noord-Zuid Arendonk (B)
Who loves the sun Pictura Dordrecht
Galerie Závodný Mikulov (CZ)
Farbe.Raum.Licht Kuenstlerhaus Dortmund (DE)
Vertikal GKG Bonn (DE)
Ganz Nichts W119 Dordrecht

Abstract Wall Paintings ACEC Apeldoorn
Out of balance De Vishal Haarlem
Inner nature Kasteelstraat 1 Watou (BE)
Markers Richeldis Fine Art Londen (GB)
Momentum Vincent van GoghHuis Zundert
Deemstering Studio Seine Rotterdam

Galerie Hein Elferink Staphorst
WOOT Antwerpen (BE)
Het varken en de man erachter Rosa Breda
Dunkel Galerie Kim Behm Frankfurt (DE)
From Scratch Pictura Dordrecht
Zeichnung Galerie Clement Bonn (DE)
Ritme en regelmaat Galerie Witteveen Amsterdam

Voisinage Latuvu Bages (FR)
Thoughts around the black square Vasarely Museum Budapest (HU)
25 Galerie Phoebus Rotterdam
Schitterend isolement Drawing Centre Diepenheim
Hollandse klaarte Loods12 Wetteren (BE)
Amsterdam Drawing Art Fair
Galerie Hein Elferink Staphorst

Dutch Cube Museum Bozsó Kecskemét (HU)
Imaging Agent PARK Tilburg
Formeel Museum Waterland Purmerend
Orthogonal14 The Red House Sofia (BG)
Razzle Dazzle Electron Breda

brito.rodriquez Lissabon (PT)
Holland Kocka Abigail Galéria Budapest (HU)
Formal Attire Kunstpodium-T Tilburg
Don't be evil Electron Breda
Zwart & Wit / Black & White Gorcums Museum
Galerie Hein Elferink Staphorst

Galerie Ulrike Hrobsky Wenen (AT)
Licht Bredaas Museum
Scripts and Signs Galerie Sanaa Utrecht
Een Rosa Poëtica Onomatopee Eindhoven

Melk en Bloed Kunstenlab Hengelo
All about drawing Stedelijk Museum Schiedam
Met het oog gemeten Academie Leon Zwalm (BE)
Le salon du dessin contemporain Parijs (FR)
Art Karlsruhe (DE)
Art Amsterdam
Graphos biennale - Grafiek onbegrensd Kruithuis s'-Hertogenbosch

Don't think, concentrate

You might be inclined to say that Arjan Janssen - who was born in Eindhoven in 1965 and lives in Breda (in The Netherlands) - creates in his drawings and paintings, his own probable universe. That is probably true for all artists, but in his case the focus on his visual world is actually a quality in itself. After all, his work is both abstract and serene and seems to free itself from the so-called reality around it. In each of his works, he creates his individual aestheticism by using a unique structure of stripes and lines, massive or dynamic compositions.

And yet a number of demarcations are firmly embedded in the composition of his visual art. He uses brushstrokes and chalk to create vertical and horizontal lines as well as patterns which repeat themselves at intervals as aligned grids, columns or flexible forms. These are self-imposed boundaries and rules that form an internal framework, constructions that can be free-flowing and can go in any random direction, yet by definition do not contain, by any stretch of the imagination, an identifiable reference to anything whatsoever.

Shortly after graduating from Sint Joost in Breda (1985-1990), Arjan Janssen abandoned the path of figurative art early in his career. In his work, solid imagery is time and again recaptured in an abstract, geometrical or minimalist way as a permanent theme, as a succession of shades of black and white and more recently with shades of colour which are being intuitively and faithfully explored in his visual search for the essentials.

The result of this artistic approach is evident in two-dimensional forms in space which can in no way be said to resemble existing reality. They may well arise from an instant perception or from a direct observation, (as titles such as Stare, Absoluut Alles, Zeigt, Time is Money or Vision may indicate), but they are clearly the result of a constant search for a free artistic language that is pure and expressive. The formal solutions of his paintings and drawings have resulted in an departure from reality, whereby the limitations of format are embraced and used as a means to create a new world, whose builing elements seem to reveal a multitude of possibilities.

And yet, despite these intimations of obscurity, his oeuvre is not disconnected from reality, it 'moves' metaphorically in exhibitions on ever-changing walls, in books, in publications and in conservations with and between people, such as his close family, and in initiatives such as Rosa Breda (1991-2016) and Abstracte(since 2015). Moreover, Arjan Janssen is very much involved in what is happening today in the international field of the arts and at the same time is engaged in a different professional career, as a social youth worker. He studied philosophy at the University of Amsterdam (1987-1988) and socio-educational work in Eindhoven (2011-2012). He generously writes down his thoughts and shares his observations and discoveries of visual works by other artists from the past and presence.

Ultimately, the works of Arjan Janssen function on different visual levels. They function in each specific space, offering a reflection on architecture. They function both as a rectangular surface, with an endless variety of compositions and as a superficial structure, where the damaged, tormented, mat or shiny material leads us close to the artist's hand. And yet his works are not the representation of a particular rhythm, but the exact rhythm itself. The most important motif can be found in the subtle difference between being and becoming, between the eternal and the temporary.

It gives us, as viewers, visitors or admirers, a chance to concentrate.
An appeal to attention for what already exists and what will become.

Els Wuyts
April 2020





25.05.19 - 16.06.19
Paviljoen Hedendaagse Kunst Watou

- - -

21.12.19 - 05.01.20
Paviljoen Hedendaagse Kunst Watou
groepstentoonstelling met Herman Bellaert, Paul Bourgeois, David Bruneel, Trees De Mits, Christophe Denys, Willy De Sauter, Isa D'hondt, Laure Forêt, Paul Gees, Jean Goedcharle, Luc Hoekx, Arjan Janssen, Sabine Oosterlynck, Johan Parmentier, Bernard Sercu, Philippe Timmermans, Yumiko Yoneda



2 juli - 15 augustus 2017
Isa D'Hondt. Paul Gees. Laure Forêt. Arjan Janssen.