Jan Eric Visser (born in 1962, The Netherlands) is a Rotterdam based artist working with everyday inorganic debris transforming it into autonomous works of art. The ongoing process ‘Form Follows Garbage’ explores the limits of controlling the shape, form, material, and colour.
The main concept revolves around environmental and ecological problems: waste, resource shortage, and overconsumption. Asserting a material presence and at the same time avoiding the descriptive content of waste, Jan Eric Visser places waste in suspended animation.
Visser’s sculptures are the result of a simple but effective process that consists of making new shapes from waste materials that are subsequently wrapped in paper pulp. The waste and debris found in his rubbish bin or incidentally gathered from outside are always the starting point in creating the autopoietic objects. Playing on the illusion of aesthetics, the sculptures reflect the notion of beauty as captured by commerce, design and the advertising industry resulting in an overwhelming amount of waste. Unlike the artists of the Arte Povera Movement, Visser’s work does not refer to a pre-industrial era but to a post-industrial future in which resources will be cherished and no longer landfilled or incinerated as ‘waste’. Exploring modern aesthetics at the interface of tradition and innovation, Visser’s outdoor sculptures offer a platform for new recycling materials.
Edo Dijksterhuis on Jan Eric Visser
Jan Eric Visser on the VierVaart residency in Gored, NL, supported by Mondriaan Fonds
Plastic Pollution Coalition 2017
Jan Eric Visser, Sustaining Small Acts, TENT; Rotterdam, NL, 25 March – 20 August 2023
Jan Eric Visser, Plastikos, VierVaart, Groede, NL, 6 June – 9 October 2021
Jan Eric Visser Residu, VierVaart, Groede, NL, 20 April – 29 September 2020
Group exhibition ‘CODA Paper Art 2019’, CODA Museum Apeldoorn, NL, 10th June – 27th October, 2019
Jan Eric Visser The garbage bag as muse, Stedelijk Museum Schiedam, NL, 11 January – 22 March 2020