jan enno de jong 




         mixed media





Jan Enno de Jong once asserted that he works from the inside out. A somewhat mysterious remark that takes some time to explain in order to understand its essence.
Works by Jan Enno de Jong, whether they are paintings, drawings or three-dimensional work, make the observer pause a moment and retrace their steps for a while.
His works are called landscapes, but in actual fact there are no landscapes to be seen. Instead they are abstractions of landscapes, or perhaps it is better to call them "sediments".
His paintings show strange places where any attempt at observation fails and where a straightforward perception of place, time and action is denied.
Recognizable features are stakes and ditches, planks lying across something, or mountains.
Childhood memories of the countryside in the northern Netherlands as well as observations made during bicycle trips through Spain end up on canvas or on paper.
His work, and more specifically his three-dimensional work, can be regarded as models: constructions referring to memories and dreams.
De Jong records his observations, wherever they occur, by making sketches and taking pictures. They are visual moments that make a profound impression and, after frequent consideration, keep inspiring De Jong with new images in changing contexts. Before he starts on a work, nothing is definite yet. The final shapes result from a searching process. The work is not finished until the essences can be caught within the image. Essences that reflect intuitive approaches from a deep-seated core-feeling.
The final images visualize moments of intensive perception, fed by all sorts of narratives. Somehow they have the character of film-stills; the visualization of places where the past and the future have temporarily been switched off.
Questions about the use of material do not interest De Jong. It's all about the images. Images with a minimum of colour. Colours are merely a distraction. Austerity and space have poetic power.
De Jong formulates some of the basic features of his work as follows: a longing to be somewhere – things passing by – and everything in between – a wish to experience something deeply".
Talking about his work, he quotes the Belgian artist Patrick van Caeckenberg: "Like soup reduced to a concentrated stock-cube. From that, new soups may be cooked again".

David Stroband