Artis-Naples opens first solo museum exhibition in Southwest Florida for Marcus Jansen

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Artis-Naples opens first solo museum exhibition in Southwest Florida for Marcus Jansen
Marcus Jansen, Rural America, 2018. Oil enamels, oil stick, paper, cloth and spray paint on canvas. 50 x 74 inches. From the collection of Corrado and Christina.

NAPLES, FLA.- Artis—Naples opened the first solo museum exhibition in Southwest Florida for internationally exhibited artist Marcus Jansen. The exhibition – Marcus Jansen: Two Decades of Relevance – opened on April 24 and is part of the season-long celebration of the 20th anniversary of The Baker Museum. The exhibition will be on view at The Baker Museum through July 25.

Kathleen van Bergen, CEO and President, said “We are honored to be welcoming Marcus Jansen and his work to The Baker Museum, especially while celebrating the museum’s 20th anniversary. We have been thrilled to safely open our doors this season to the community, and we invite everyone to experience Marcus’ show. Marcus’ works are simultaneously emotional, introspective and intellectual, and he has built an international reputation for fully engaging the viewer in critical topics about our world.”

Courtney McNeil, Museum Director and Chief Curator, The Baker Museum, added “Since the 1990s, Marcus Jansen has been creating powerful, painterly works of art that critically explore urgent topics, from industrial agriculture to the impacts of gentrification on city dwellers. He has experienced a meteoric rise over the past few years, as art audiences in the United States and Europe have embraced artists with the ability to compellingly portray the issues and tensions that shape our lives in these challenging and complicated times. Jansen is not only sensitively attuned to the world around him, but he is also a dazzling practitioner of an expressive, gestural style of painting that arrests the viewer’s attention with its vibrancy and energy.”

Marcus Jansen: Two Decades of Relevance

For Jansen, based in Fort Myers and New York, painting is an act of intense engagement with the world. His art offers critical commentary on global sociological, political and economic issues and visceral responses to the world events that have shaped his life. Visitors are invited to discover Jansen’s creative output, which has garnered numerous national and international accolades.

Jansen’s life experiences have required him to navigate different cultures, profound loss, and complex challenges. He was born to a Caribbean mother from Jamaica and a German father.

Raised in New York City in the 1970s, he spent his adolescence in Germany and studied graphics and later completed an apprenticeship as a house painter in Mönchengladbach, not far from Düsseldorf. He returned to New York for visits in the late 1980s, and in 1989 joined the United States Army. After fighting in the first Iraq War during Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm he was diagnosed with PTSD and was honorably discharged after eight years of service. Back in New York in 1999, he became a professional artist, joining a group of artists in lower Manhattan known as the “Princestreetkings.” In 2011, he lost his first wife to cancer and was left with two young children and steep medical bills.

These life events have shaped Jansen’s passion for universal human rights and improved societal conditions. Two Decades of Relevance showcases 18 powerful paintings by Jansen, including Foreclosures (2008), Spotlight (2020) and The Colonialist (2021). His expressive paintings are charged with a sense of empathy and a commitment to justice, and explore timeless, relevant themes with their colorful abstract and figural constructions. These works demonstrate the artist’s sustained preoccupations with power structures and their manifestations across different spheres, struggles of the disenfranchised and displaced, urban and rural landscapes, surveillance and technology.

In addition to his studio practice, Jansen is founder of the Marcus Jansen Foundation Fund in Fort Myers, which aims to serve veterans with PTSD and economically disadvantaged children through enhanced cultural awareness of art and music.

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