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Jessica Centner
Texas ist der Grund, 2005/06

plastic building bricks, fibreboard, oil-based paint
16-part work, variable dimensions

© VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2022

Photo: Tom Oettle

Deep in the heart of the Texas desert is a place called Marfa. It was where Donald Judd pursued his activities as one of the key practitioners of Minimal Art. With the title of her stele composition Jessica Centner is paying her reverence to the grand master of Minimalism. A critical examination of the central developments in 20th century art – above all Conceptual Art and Minimal Art – is of no little importance to Jessica Centner’s practice. She works conceptually; she occupies herself with painting, sculpture/installations, and the links between these areas.

“Texas ist der Grund” [Texas is the Reason] consists of eight monochrome steles done in the colours white, black, grey, blue, red, orange, yellow and green. Each consists of a plinth and a sculpture in the shape of a tower that differ in terms of material and surface structure, but not in the size of the base and the colours. Quite in keeping Minimalism, the sculpture is made of industrially manufactured parts: in this case coloured Lego bricks. The boundary between sculpture and plinth is razor thin, and it is precisely the question of the relationship between artwork and plinth that the artist wishes to raise in this work.

Jessica Centner places her work in space in much the same way a range of possible colours are employed in the composition of a picture. The positioning of the steles is exactly attuned to the exhibition space, the alignment of the room and above all the entrance situation. It is important to her that there is a possible vantage point from which the overall arrangement of the steles can be seen in one, without any overlaps. The distribution of the colours on the individual steles is quite coincidental, because they are erected in the order in which the pieces are unpacked when setting up the exhibition. 


Jessica Centner

1971 born in Ludwigshafen
Lives and works in Berlin