Washington DC - HEMPHILL opens Franz Jantzen: Ostinato on Saturday, January 14, 2012, with a public reception from 6:30–8:30pm. The exhibition will remain on view through March 10, 2012.
In music, “ostinato” is the repetition of a note, motif or phrase wherein no one element is more important than any other. In common use, the term can include slight variations in repetitions to aid the development of the piece as a whole. This musical tool is the backbone of Jantzen’s newest body of assemblages, which range in subject matter from a Santeria altar, to the historic Loew’s Theater, and the artist’s own bathtub.
With the camera positioned at a set height and angle, Jantzen takes hundreds of photographs of a chosen space or object, capturing every inch of detail through indiscriminate, repetitious exposures. He then arranges these images to compose a final work that rests between representational and abstract. Jantzen’s source photos capture tremendous amounts of visual information. Yet, his discombobulated re-assembling of the pieces abstracts the subject matter as a whole, sometimes rendering it unrecognizable to the viewer. For example, in “Duomo, Siena”, Jantzen configures dozens of photographs of a donation box in the Siena Cathedral to create a cubistic, deconstructed, yet highly detailed interpretation of the site. In this manner, Jantzen challenges his audience to explore the details of his riffs and enjoy the resulting symphony.
Ostinato is Franz Jantzen’s third solo exhibition at Hemphill Fine Arts since 2000. Jantzen received his B.A. in Fine Arts from The College of Wooster in Ohio. His work has been exhibited nationally and is included in numerous public and private collections including the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, The Ogden Museum of Southern Art, New Orleans, LA, the Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington DC, and the Washington Post Corporation. Jantzen lives and works in Washington DC.