Einhorn’s body of work develops his interest in channeling the assertive energy of the urban periphery. His new works incorporate shapes cut from tarpaper, layered starkly above a vibrant collage of fabric, acrylic, and spray paint. Their gritty, plant-like silhouettes allude to East Germany, where Einhorn grew up and whose barren city landscape he explored as a teenager. Einhorn’s wilderness is the concrete jungle, where leaves cover tarpaper rooves and blend with the colors of graffiti and rust. Describing his interests, Einhorn mentions the abandoned shelters and overgrown junkyards that exist between the urban and natural worlds. Like Einhorn’s canvases, these plots are spaces of collage and metamorphosis. As associating our personal memories gives meaning to others’ discarded objects, Einhorn’s collages are full of suggestion and opportunity.
Einhorn’s working method, evident visually, takes places between instinct, determination, and condition. In some works, rhythmic territories of color give a spontaneous impression. In others, built-up layers of tarpaper attest to decisions accumulated, revisited, and rethought. Difficult to handle and cut, tarpaper resists intention; Einhorn writes that it “often demands its own way.” Einhorn’s act of making parallels the act of being in the metropolis, where impulse and jeopardy accompany every plan.
Tensions between what is manmade and what is natural give force to Jens Einhorn’s East Germany and present Berlin. Einhorn’s paintings harmonize design and intuition, motion and rest, and freedom and control.