Once upon a time in July...
By Pierre-Alain Challier, gallery owner
When I first exhibited Jan Dilenschneider’s paintings, they met with immediate success. Ever since then, like a lucky date, the American artist has met with collectors in Paris in July, eschewing the customs and expectations of contemporary art.
Classically trained in oil on canvas, Jan Dilenschneider became a master of emotions and movement in the wake of the devastation wreaked by Hurricane Sandy in 2012, an event which profoundly influenced her by opening up the prospect of abstraction as a means of catharsis. Her style suddenly became more spirited, teetering between representation of the real and abstraction, ultimately drawing us together.
We were united by our intense love for nature. Numerous artists with a deep-rooted connection to this theme are represented in my Le Marais gallery. Following on from this, that same year I began the restoration of Lascours, a dream location and hidden jewel slumbering in the South of France amid botanical grounds cultivated since the 18th century, a fitting setting in which to exhibit life-size art in a few years time. Jan immediately decided to paint this landscape, with its tall grassy fields, and gave me the painting.
Jan Dilenschneider is a very involved artist. She throws herself headlong into the painting, revealing the life force of the water and wind, highlighting the beauty of the world and the need to preserve its landscapes. One can sense this intense energy in the depth of her canvases. Over the course of our conversations, Jan began to let go of the figurative and I am delighted to accompany her in this development. She is reconnecting with the great tradition of Franco-American ties that has existed since the time of the Impressionists.
Should we see her as the spiritual heir to a pantheon of artists bordering on abstraction, dominated by Georgia O’Keeffe and Joan Mitchell? This exhibition, “Sublimer la Nature”, which hints at writer Henry David Thoreau’s “We can never have enough of nature!”, marks Jan Dilenschneider’s fourth exhibition at the gallery, which is celebrating its tenth anniversary this year. She highlights the deep-rooted ties that connect me to the variety of artists whom I am lucky enough to represent.