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Jus Juchtmans (1952) was born in Mortsel, Belgium and lives and works in Antwerp.
Juchtmans had many solo shows and participated at numerous group exhibitions in Belgium, New York, Italy, Spain, Germany, Austria, France, The Netherlands and the UK.
His works can be found in public collections, such as SMAK, Ghent – PMMK, Ostend, Karl Ernst Osthaus-Museum, Hagen – Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego – La Jolla – ABN/AMRO Kunststichting, Amsterdam, F. van Lanschot Bankiers, Den Bosch, Fondation Carmignac, Porquerolles – the Belgian Ambassy in Vienna…
[…] One of the things the Minimalist artists had tried to achieve was an aesthetic that took into account, and heightened the viewers’ awareness of the artworks’ immediate surroundings.
It is in this context that the paintings of Jus Juchtmans can best be seen. You can ask yourself whether his paintings can be considered monochromes. This depends on how strict your definition of a monochrome is. There is however no doubt that the monochrome, or an engagement with it, is evident in his work. It is an engagement with the visual aesthetic of the monochrome. The aspect time plays an important part in this but not in the earlier ‘romantic’ sense, with its evocation of transcendence and timelessness. Instead, Juchtmans’s engagement with time within the monochrome introduces the idea of temporality in our aesthetic experience of art.
One of the most striking features of Jus Juchtmans’s paintings are their highly reflective and shiny surfaces. They are the result of Juchtmans’s particular technique of utilizing and manipulating his materials. The surfaces resist the viewer, and looking at them is often a frustrating process, as we invariably see ourselves reflected in the painting. This in turn makes us feel uneasy as that is something we, as viewers, are not accustomed to.
Our natural reaction when confronted with this situation is to change our viewing position, in search for the most unobtrusive position to look at the painting. This, however, is a near impossible task and we soon come to the realization that our own reflection, as well as the reflection of the gallery’s surroundings, is an integral part of the work. We become aware that this is in fact what Juchtmans intends from his work. He wants us, like the Minimalists, to become conscious of the viewing conditions of his work, particularly the transitory and time specific nature of those conditions. Through Juchtmans’s work, we come to realize that every viewing moment is a different and unique one. It changes with many factors such as the time of day, the lighting conditions in the gallery, the other people around, and so on.
excerpt from the text ‘The Painting of Time’ by Eugene Tan, 2000.