Jan van Munster Energy2 February 2023
Jan van Munster
Jan van Munster, born in Gorinchem in the Netherlands in 1939, is an internationally renowned sculptor who has made energy his subject. Van Munster was a professor at various art academies in the Netherlands and had important solo exhibitions in all the major Dutch museums from a young age. His international reputation is based on a series of exhibitions in Germany, but also in the USA and Japan, as well as his works in public museums and a comparatively high number of realised art-in-architecture projects.
In Jan van Munster’s work, the Sculptor’s Energy can be perceived both directly in the artist’s light installations or indirectly in the aura of his granite sculptures, which he often refers to as accumulators. While the energy in the neon sculptures is visible as light, it is rather ideally contained in the granite sculptures.
Dr. Dorothea van der Koelen wrote about van Munsters works:
Since the concept of “energy” is so directly connected with Jan van Munster’s
work and finds expression in multiple formal manifestations, it makes sense to
examine this concept a little more closely. First of all, energy is a “disposition”,
that is, something that cannot be seen at first glance, but whose effect can be felt,
for example, when you press the light switch and the light comes on, when you press
ON on the computer or some electrical device, or simply turn the ignition key in
the lock of the car.
Whether the artist’s thoughts and flashes of inspiration can be manifested in this way remains an open question. Perhaps it is only a snapshot. But the essence of the thoughts can be transmitted in this way. In blue argon colour, the artist’s brain waves and thoughts appear as a steady continuum, while in red neon colour they appear as signals or perhaps more like flashes of thought. In both cases, the artist lets us physically participate in his mental creations.