Kloosterboer on Anything but the Figure
Anything but the Figure
Curated by Jan Nelson, Intro by Lorena Kloosterboer
When Didi Menendez, the publisher of PoetsArtists Magazine, invited Jan Anders Nelson to curate his own special edition, he decided the premise would be based on his personal experience in regards to juried competitions. As a thriving multidisciplinary artist—Nelson’s work includes painting, drawing, and photography—he knows how agonizing the guesswork can be when deciding on which artworks to submit while blindly guessing the values and intentions of the curator or jury. Both real and perceived criticism as well as inclusion and rejection can deeply affect the artist’s frame of mind and their sense of competence. Consequently, he chose to avoid giving too many directions by posing only the slightest of guidelines.
In his call for submissions Nelson stated, “I want to see what you treasure as your best example of your creative spark. I do not care when it was produced or what medium was used. I have no theme for you to filter with, no unifying structure defined for your consideration and only one caveat given to me by the publisher: No artwork dealing with the human figure.”
In essence, Nelson didn’t want artwork especially made to fit the call—quite the contrary, he requested artists present their uniquely personal and most favorite artworks. As a result, this singular edition highlights entirely fresh content and subject matter, given that PoetsArtists generally focusses on realist art charting the human figure. It has turned into a beautiful and unexpected survey of an extensive variety of artworks within the realm of Anything but the Figure.
Anything but the Figure showcases stilllifes, landscapes, cityscapes, fantasyscapes, interiors, nature, wildlife, and close-ups of objects and foods. It is a medley of subject matter in a wide array of expressions ranging from highly precise rendering to spontaneous looseness, and from energizing abstraction to bold childlike interpretation—all seemingly disparate yet following a unique visual thread illustrating Nelson’s distinctive take on the very best work 28 artists and five poets have to offer.
In contrast to the majority of other art projects in which the selection process remains a mystery to the participating artist, this one is explained by presenting the reasoning and thought process behind the final choices. In this publication Nelson briefly delineates his views, feelings, and insights into each piece in Anything but the Figure.
Written by Lorena Kloosterboer, realist artist & author © Antwerp, September 2018