Karin Janssen’s paintings and drawings, interwoven with paper cuts and collages, draw on personal memories, cultural myths and ideologies to investigate our subjective and collective experience of the world.
Her bold and vibrant works interrogate our animalistic nature and explore the body as a site for narrative. Recurring motifs of the roaring mouth, creeping plant forms and dynamic birds and animals represent change and transformation, inviting us to reassess our relationship to our internal and external worlds.
Disembodied mouths become portals, gateways to another dimension, where fizzing and foaming bubbles, grasping tendrils, sprouting growths, roaring tigers and hovering lemons embody a tumultuous emotional landscape, all charged with a dark and playful wit. Janssen’s idiosyncratic universe reveals the absurdity of our attempts to occupy or project an idealised image onto ourselves or others.
In Extraordinary Machine a purple haired woman rides a wild colourful menagerie of creatures, whilst holding aloft a pale pencil cityscape in one hand and an oversized orb of human cells in the other. Strength and power are simultaneously performed and undermined in Janssen’s world, with nature, inevitably, always one step ahead.
Seductively embracing the grotesque, the overlooked, the unknown and unfathomable, Janssen’s luscious watercolours and gouaches convey the complications of the human story.
Karin Janssen has her studio in Shanghai and has exhibited internationally in the Netherlands, Brazil, the United Kingdom, Greece, Switzerland and China.
After her studies at AKV St Joost in Den Bosch, the Netherlands, Janssen set up various art projects in Ecuador, Peru, and Paraguay. She went on to undertake an Artist in Residency in Casa das Caldeiras in São Paulo, before returning to Amsterdam to found and set up NIKA Art Projects.
In 2011 Janssen opened Karin Janssen Project Space in London, which she ran until 2015, when she relocated to Shanghai to work full time in her studio. Her work has attracted much press attention, amongst others featuring on the cover of the East End Review and is part of various private collections in the Netherlands, the UK and Brazil.
Karin Janssen Project Space
Karin Janssen Project Space was an independent exhibition space established by artist Karin Janssen in London, active between 2011-2015. The dynamic exhibition programme provided a crucial platform for international emerging and established artists to showcase new work and create new international networks and partnerships.
See archive Karin Janssen Project Space