Ernst Yohji Jaeger
10. 2. – 27. 3. 2021
All at once I discovered that I held the moon in my hands. I lifted it to my mouth, took a bite, and tasted its bitter nectar.
Quince Moon is Ernst Yohji Jaeger’s first solo exhibition at Croy Nielsen. The works on view underscore a marked tension between intimate moments and a reenchantment of the world at large.
We don’t make ideas, we find them.
While Jaeger nods towards artists such as Helene Schjerfbeck, Miljenko Stančić, and contemporaries like Yoshitaka Amano, his paintings inhabit an impenetrable corner of figuration and abstraction. This slippage and rejection of the concrete is a platform for the viewer’s interjection in the images. His practice therefore challenges the art epoch impulse that limits works to eras, locales, and communities. The world he occupies remains untethered, and instead is in dialogue with artists across both time and space.
A local pastor once proclaimed that life is a series of arrivals and departures.
He elides formal representation in favor of floating signifiers that destabilize a time-specificity. There is something poetic about the artist’s process; with no clear end in sight, the works apparently resolve themselves by way of repetition, addition, negation, and evasion of the static.
Disembodied palms clutch at the pond, towards an abyss.
The subjects here become meta; charged with latent representations of people, places, and things. His figures are universal, the objects uncertain. The woman is you, your mother, a stranger, a lover. The chartreuse orbs are fruits and constellations. A mountain range is a turbulent ocean, a lunar mise en scene. Jaeger taps into the equilibrium of meaning-making by interrogating motifs and apparently weak signals in order to elevate the personal to the divine.
The moon is a quince, and the quince a moon.
– Reilly Davidson