Description: These paintings on canvas, Belgian linen and paper are mostly abstract paintings and semi-abstract paintings of the environment, sometimes including elements of landscape and figures completed during the 1990's.
Artist statement about the works:
" I started out as a figurative painter because I felt attracted to that form of expression as I had a narrative story to tell in those days. There was a message I wanted to convey and over time, I found it best articulated through abstract and semi-abstract forms of expression. I only discovered this at a later time when I had immersed myself in abstraction.
Does the change in artistic medium affect how I define myself as an artist? - Sandra Murray, in an essay (1991), said it more concisely than I could:
‘The successful artistic expression of an abstruse concept such as universality is difficult to achieve, but ultimately rewards both artist and viewer. It is what lies beyond the boundaries of abstraction and figuration that intrigues John Dahlsen and he has developed a unique visual language to articulate this. Dahlsen has only arrived at this crucial stage in his work after a course of exploration, both in a personal and artistic sense….’
Sandra Murray’s review particularly resonated with me. It is indeed, the intrigue and exploration and of course the medium I use at the time which helps define me and my work.
In later years a review of my ‘Contemporary Landscapes’ exhibition (1999) by Catharina Hampson states:
‘Years of abstract /figurative painting… inspired by living organic forms often monochromatic, smoothed transition to his present exhibition of works. … His flotsam collection acquired at the same time as his driftwood evolved into a further dramatic phase. … ‘Contemporary Landscapes’ his mammoth task – afforded him a freedom to demonstrate aesthetic possibilities which radiate vitality and joie de vivre, uncommon to most artists deeply conscious of environmental issues’.