Jan Menses
Kaddish Series on the Holocaust - Shoah
Kaddish Series
Kaddish Prayer
Kaddish Paintings
Kaddish Drawings
Klippoth Series
Klippoth Series
Klippoth Early Works
Klippoth Later Works
Tikkun Series
Tikkun Series
Tikkun Paintings
Diabolica Series
Diabolica Series
Diabolica Etchings
Diabolica Paintings
Color Works Series
Color Works Series
Color Works Paintings
Works of Art by Series
Early Portraits
Early Drawings
Abstract Works
Lithography Series
Shvirat Hakelim Series
Surrealistic Inks Series
Doomed Children Series
The Stages of a Painting 1
The Stages of a Painting 2
Virtual Galleries
Portraits by Orly Yahalom
Holocaust Survivor Ima Nadia
Gallery Under Construction
Color Works Series

In their nervous brushstrokes in unbroken yellows, greens and reds, these are terse paintings of optimal intensity, engendered by the high frequencies of their hues. In semi-abstract configurations Jan Menses peoples his pictoral space in juxtaposed groups, which are held in interaction by a sensitive occult balance. Or, to put it differently, they are made cogent by their dominant spatial tensions, achieved by composing on diagonal tangents.

Yet, beyond their purely formal qualities these early paintings already hint at a phenomenon which will become omnipresent in the artist’s later work. Through relationships and contrast, significance and insignificance of shapes, these configurations spell out: dominance and submission.

In another cycle of this period, Menses conjures up proliferations of softly rounded bodies that fill up the pictorial space in dense clusters on collision course. In mixed-media techniques, dominated by harmonies on the warm scale, from soft yellows through broken earthen hues towards reds, from delineations in blacks with specs of icy blues as miniscule portions of cold ground between warm bodies.

These enigmatic configurations are the last of the artist’s colour paintings. Since 1963 he has touched nothing but black and white chiaro-scuro, from the pristine whiteness of his paper, left out the way Rembrandt would have done it, to the deepest lamp black. If his song was to be austere, it became a spine-chilling incantation of man’s inhumanity to man. This world had no
use of color. As the artist’s attraction to kabbalistic mysticism deepened, his art became the sombre expression of his preoccupations.

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