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Brick wall, brick wall in the mall, who’s the prettiest of them all - Johan Jensen Kjeldsen

Galleries Juliette Jongma

Gerard Doustraat 128 A
1073 VX Amsterdam
+31 (0)20 4636904

Open Wed - Sat / 13-18 hrs

Exhibition 27 May — 8 Jul

Opening 27 May, 17-19 hrs


Brick wall, brick wall in the mall, who’s the prettiest of them all - Johan Jensen Kjeldsen

Juliètte Jongma gallery in Amsterdam is located around the corner of the first IJscuypje branch, which opened here ten years ago. Meanwhile, this ice cream shop has become a huge success and has turned into a kind of symbol of the gentrification of De Pijp neighbourhood in Amsterdam.

Within this context, Johan Jensen Kjeldsen (1986, DK) presents his work in his first solo exhibition at the gallery. He shows a sculpture of a pair of meticulously handcrafted Birkenstock sandals, stuck in a pile of melting ice cream.

Jensen Kjeldsen is a resident at the postgraduate artist’s institute De Ateliers, which is located in the same neighbourhood. In his work, he seems to reflect on the changing city, its wealth, its leisure and its extreme focus on lifestyle.

At the entrance of the gallery space, a huge sausage hanging from a chain on the ceiling is sending out signals to the visitor that the gallery could be a butcher’s shop. As it happens, The Butcher is actually a member’s club just around the corner. It is hidden behind a hamburger restaurant and you can only get access to the club by giving the right password. Also situated around the corner is a very popular place for breakfast and lunch, De Wasserette (laundrette), to make things even more confusing.

Jensen Kjeldsen decided to turn the second part of the gallery space into a seductive art exhibition by showing three seemingly beautiful, handcrafted paintings. On closer inspection, this triptych appears to be wrapped in transparent kitchen foil. Cartoonish drawings in sign language say: “I – forgot - (to bring) – flowers”.

A small, crooked swimming pool for children blocks the entrance of the main gallery space. The artist’s handmade version shows a fabric print of a world map, referring to a collaboration between the fashion brands Supreme and The North Face. Together, these American companies have developed raincoats for which fans queue up outside shops so they can be among the first to own them.

Upon closer inspection, a crooked barbecue appears to be craftily handmade too, closely resembling its extensively used original. It turns the gallery space into a setting, a carefully styled backyard which includes a tree branch attached to the wall. The latter contains a crazy-eyed bird, looking at its own detached feet on the next branch, which has evidently been shitting on the gallery wall.

Jensen Kjeldsen made a micro version of the macro world around us and lets us walk towards the exit again along an enlarged box of matches on the floor, referring to the title of the exhibition, Brick wall, brick wall in the mall, who’s the prettiest of them all. The artist refers to The Little Match Girl, a short Danish story by Hans Christian Andersen about a child’s dying hope.


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