Ann Veronica Janssens

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Ann Veronica Janssens
Born30 July 1956
Known forSculpture
MovementAbstraction, Minimalism, Light and Space

Ann Veronica Janssens is a Belgian contemporary visual artist born in 1956 in Folkestone, United Kingdom. She lives and works in Brussels, Belgium.[1] Her work is an invitation to ephemeral experiences, which are at times delirious or vertiginous, and lead to the loss of control or landmarks, generating a sentiment of visual, physical, temporal or psychological fragility.[2]

Janssens has explored practical and theoretical research connecting space, time, body and brain, by bringing together artists and researchers in neurosciences, astrophysics, biology, geology, art history and philosophy.[3]

In 2012 she was appointed Head of Studio at the National School of Fine Arts in Paris, France.[4]


Janssens' work presents decisive visual experiences. Variations in the atmospheric light in Kinshasa, the city in Congo where she grow up,[5] made a deep impression on her, as did the handling of geometry and light in Mies van der Rohe's work, notably his Barcelona Pavilion. Originally she wanted to be an architect, like her father, but she began to move away from this discipline as it struck her as rather too functional. She explored artistic discoveries that included sculptures of Henry Moore, and was influenced by Maria Wierusz Kowalski (known as Tapta), with whom she had worked as assistant at La Cambre art school in Brussels.[6]

Janssens mainly does site-specific works. She takes a specific space as her starting point and adds forms and volumes to the existing architecture.[7] Often she chooses unexpected, unobvious places like a stairway, a ceiling or a window ledge. Her interventions bring the specific qualities of an environment to light. She sets out signposts intended to let viewers define themselves against reality. In what way does our point of view determine our perception? How does the viewer relate vis-à-vis a specific place? Originally she worked chiefly with industrial materials – concrete, wood and glass – and primary forms. Since 1990 her work increasingly displays a more immaterial character: light, sound and fog instead of rough building materials. These works lead to a drastic total-experience that completely changes the viewer's perception of the space.[7]


Solo exhibitions[edit]

Janssens' work has been the subject of numerous institutional solo exhibitions:

In 1999 she represented Belgium at the 48th Venice Biennale with Michel François, and her work was part of other international biennials:

  • The Sharjah Biennial 14 (2019)
  • Manifesta 10, St-Petersburg, RU (2014)
  • 18th biennale of Sydney, AUS (2012)
  • Manifesta 8, Murcia (2011
  • 5th International Media Art Biennale Seoul, KR (2006)[14]
  • 11th biennale of Sydney, AUS (1998)
  • 5th International biennale of Istanbul, TR (1997)
  • 22nd International Biennale of São Paulo, BR (1994)

Group exhibitions[edit]

Since 1985, Janssens has participated in major group exhibitions:

  • "Perspectives minimales en Belgique" at le Delta, Namur–BE (2022)
  • "Light & Space" at Copenhagen Contemporary, Copenhagen–DK (2021)
  • "Space Shifters" at Hayward Gallery, London–UK (2018)
  • "Le musée absent" in Wiels, Brussels–B (2017)
  • "Illumination" at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebæk–DK (2016)
  • "Another Minimalism" at the Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh–UK (2015)
  • "Zehn Räume Drei Loggien und Ein Saal" at the Sprengel Museum, Hanover–DE (2015)
  • "Simple Forms" at the Centre Pompidou Metz–FR and the Mori Art Museum, Tokyo–J (2014
  • "Light Show" at the Hayward Gallery, London–UK, the Museum of Contemporary Art of Sydney–AU and the Sharjah Art Foundation–UAE (2013–2015)
  • "Dynamo. Un siècle de lumière et de mouvement dans l'art 1913-2013" at the Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais, Paris–FR (2013)
  • "Fruits de la Passion" at the Centre Pompidou, Paris–FR (2012)
  • "unExhibit" at the Generali Foundation, Vienna–AT (2011)
  • "Universal Code" at The Power Plant - Contemporary Art Gallery, Ontario–CA (2009)
  • "Ecstasy, In And About Altered States" at MOCA, Los Angeles–USA (2005)
  • "Natuurlijk" at the Kröller- Müller Museum, Otterlo–NL (2002)
  • "Stimuli" at the Witte de With and Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam, Netherlands (1999).
  • "Prismes. Goethe. Réflexions contemporaines", CEAAC, Strasbourg (2020)[15]


Janssens' works are held in the following permanent collections:

Further reading[edit]

Artist’s books[edit]

  • Ann Veronica Janssens. Chapelle Saint-Vincent Grignan, Ronny Van De Velde ed., Berchem, 2013
  • L’éclipse de l’objet, l’éclipse du sujet, l’éclipse de l’âme comme la neige, Nico Dockx, Ann Veronica Janssens, Jan Mast, Krist Torfs, 2010-2011
  • Experienced, Base Publishing, Brussels, 2009
  • 0032 2, Edition Camille von Scholz, Brussels, 2001
  • Het raadsel van de verdwenen kat/l'énigme du chat perdu, Ann Veronica Janssens / Hans Theys, Ministerie van de Vlaamse Gemeenschap, Brussels, 1999
  • Maroc 1993, Michel François / Ann Veronica Janssens, Fondation pour l'architecture, Bruxelles, 1993
  • Éclipse. Les artistes/the artists, Monika Droste / Michel Francois / Luc Grossen / Ann Veronica Janssens, Brussels, 1981


  • "Physical Realisations of the Unthinkable / Concrétisations physiques de l’impensable ", Guillaume Desanges, Catalogue S.M.A.K, 2015
  • "Women’s work Is never Done, An anthology", Catherine de Zegher, 2014
  • "Physical realisations of unthinkable", Guillaume Desange, 2015
  • "Endless andness the politic of abstraction according to Ann Veronica Janssens", Mieke Bal, Bloomsbury Publishing, 2013
  • "Expérience esthétique et art contemporain", Marianne Massin, Presses Universitaires de Rennes, 2013
  • "Woman Artists at the Millenium", Carol Armstrong & Catherine de Zegher, MIT press, 2006
  • "Quoting Caravaggio", Mieke Bal, The University of Chicago Press, 1999
  • "Inside the Visible: An Elliptical Traverse of Twentieth Century Art in, of, and from the Feminine ", Catherine de Zegher, MIT Press, 1996.
  • "Travelling concepts", Mieke Bal, University of Toronto Press, 2002
  • "Narratology, Intro. to the Theory of Narrative 3rd edition", M. Bal, University of Toronto Press, 2009


  1. ^ "Micheline Szwajcer, Antwerpen". Retrieved 28 July 2022.
  2. ^ "Ann Veronica Janssens | kamel mennour". Retrieved 14 October 2021.
  3. ^ "Brain Space Laboratory, Cycle". Retrieved 7 November 2021.
  4. ^ "Ann Veronica Janssens est nommée professeur à l'École nationale supérieure des beaux-arts". Le Journal Des Arts (in French). Retrieved 30 October 2021.
  5. ^ "Janssens Ann Veronica |". Retrieved 11 September 2022.
  6. ^ Poirier, Matthieu (2020). "Fleeting Elements" in Hot Pink Turquoise. London: Louisiana Museum of Modern Art & South London Gallery, Humlebæk. pp. 31–32.
  7. ^ a b "Ann Veronica Janssens". Retrieved 30 October 2021.
  8. ^ "Hot Pink Turquoise". Louisiana Museum of Modern Art (in Danish). Retrieved 11 September 2022.
  9. ^ Duplat, Guy. "Ann Veronica Janssens, déesse des lumières". La (in French). Retrieved 11 September 2022.
  10. ^ "Ann Veronica Janssens". Meer. 19 November 2018. Retrieved 11 September 2022.
  11. ^ Deman, Samantha (24 April 2017). "Les perturbations sensorielles d'Ann Veronica Janssens". ArtsHebdoMédias (in French). Retrieved 11 September 2022.
  12. ^ "WIELS | Serendipity". WIELS. Retrieved 11 September 2022.
  13. ^ "km". Retrieved 11 September 2022.
  14. ^ "The 5th Seoul International Media Art Biennale - Announcements - e-flux". Retrieved 30 October 2021.
  15. ^ "Exposition. Strasbourg : le CEAAC dans le sillage coloré de Goethe". (in French). Retrieved 11 September 2022.
  16. ^ Grand-Hornu, MAC’s (8 September 2021). "MAC's Grand-Hornu". (in French). Retrieved 8 February 2022.
  17. ^ "Collection (FR) - (DU) — en". Retrieved 8 February 2022.
  18. ^ "Œuvre " L'Espace infini " – Musées royaux des Beaux-Arts de Belgique". Retrieved 9 February 2022.
  19. ^ "Sometimes | Museu Coleção Berardo | Lisbon". Retrieved 9 February 2022.
  20. ^ "Untitled (blue glitter)". SMAK. Retrieved 7 February 2022.
  21. ^ "Corps Noir". SMAK. Retrieved 7 February 2022.
  22. ^ "Untiled III (Green)". SMAK. Retrieved 7 February 2022.