Wandering Waters #1 and #2, a diptych, 30 x 30inches, Oil on canvas
From the 2018 Exhibition at Pierre-Alain Challier Gallery.
2018: The triumph of Nature and the power of Painting
For her fourth exhibition at Galerie Pierre-Alain Challier, Jan Dilenschneider draws on her powerful passion for painting to reassert her determination to preserve the beauty of nature. Her life’s work is to inspire love for the planet.
“If words could say everything, we would have no need for artists,” summarizes Jan Dilenschneider in her remote studio. “I paint to share my emotions when confronted with the splendor of nature – that is my message. I want my audience to fall in love with nature once again; I want to establish a dialog with them that will lead them to share in the feeling that beauty will save the world.”
Her ambitions extend beyond the scope of a mere artistic project. “The purpose of my work is to encourage people to protect the beauty of our planet by directing attention to the dangers that threaten it, without guilt-tripping the people viewing my paintings. By looking at them thoughtfully, one can grasp both the fragility of nature and its power. Painting has the power to convey this understanding of the world.”
Perhaps that is why the American artist depicts virgin landscapes unmarked by the presence of human figures. The long perspectives of large stretches open up a realm of possibilities: the mysteries of vegetation, imagination, and the freedom to daydream. It is simply impossible for her to remain impassive when confronted by the threat of ecological catastrophe. Her sensibility is constantly alert; her emotions dictate her motions and her choice of colors.
She is convinced that it is her duty to take action: “Artists have an important responsibility to raise public awareness with regards to the challenges currently facing our society,” she confides. But this call to action isn’t unique to her; the American artist created The Janet Hennessey Dilenschneider Scholar Rescue Award in 2014 to help creators and their families in countries where political instability endangers their freedom of expression. She considers engagement to be of vital importance.
A piece of paradise to represent the entire planet
While the artist enhances nature and divides it into diptychs and triptychs, the titles of her works are quite simple, transparent and without real poetic effect. Instead they are rather descriptive in nature: grassy banks, golden atmosphere, homage to the leaves, dancing waters, etc. The landscapes are drawn from her everyday surroundings on the shores of long island sound, where colonies of artists emerged in the 20th century, like Silvermine, just a short distance from Jan’s home.
While Jan paints scenery with which she is intimately familiar, it is always a synecdoche, a detail in the grand scheme of things. A piece of paradise represents the entire planet; intertwined leaves represent luxuriant, totally unrestricted nature. This is why she sets little store by realism; when painting she follows the impressions left in her mind and reappropriates them. She draws, works with a squeegee and superimposes the layers of paint, which varies from thick to transparent, worked with a palette knife, a brush or sticks.
“I love to feel the texture of the paint under my brush and my fingertips.” Her primary intention is to capture the essence of things so that we can all experience the emotions within her. “In her work, she often leaves things unspoken to force the viewer to fill the void with their imagination.”
She encourages us to embark on another journey.