“I like the uncertainty of painting” Jonathan Parker
Continuing our exploration of work centred around living environments during this period of lockdown, Brocket London presents recent work by celebrated artist, Jonathan Parker, whose daily studies of the view from his studio these last months have provided motivation and routine in what could have been a monotonous blur of endless days. The evolving colours and forms within an internal courtyard space, demonstrate the transient nature of life continuing within a static existence. The studies could be reflective of narratives found in Monet’s Haystacks or Rouen Cathedral, painting the same scene over, but in this instance the artist is confined.
Paired with depictions of his studio interior, in the artist’s sophisticated painterly language, it’s what Parker doesn’t paint that is particularly pertinent. The absent figures, the negative space, often beautifully defined in his evocative black-blue-grey palette the artist revisits through his practice, sit harmoniously within the wider boundaries of the paintings and provide space for quiet contemplation.
Parker’s sketches and oil studies, exhibited here in The Isolation Series, underpin the continuum of making artworks, and for the artist, are to be practised and developed every day in the studio. His compositions are central to the interpretation of his particular artistic language, refined through his career. His work speaks to the viewer through what he considers to be five key approaches: the urgency and instinctiveness of responding to light; the reading and layering of the past; the chance encounters that manifest from the frame work and composition he creates, an anchor to give permanence to a fleeting atmosphere; the expressions of humanness, of just being; and his work in the context of art history.
Known for his portrait paintings and complex painterly narratives, Parker’s concern lies in emphasising the fragility of the environments he is portraying. Often, he suggests depth with a far horizon, the distance creating space for ideas and symbols to appear, for the mind to consider.
“The reward is in the painting itself. The mystery exists here in our minds and there in the surface of the painting every time we look, depending on the light. It is like when we remember a dream, seeing again an uncontrolled trigger point of emotion. The truth is revealed only after it is painted, symbolic of the time. A passing comment within the story of art. We are just symbol-mongerers.“
Brocket London are delighted to welcome Jonathan Parker to their gallery portfolio, having admired his work for many years. His works sit in a number of significant public and private collections, and the gallery looks forward to presenting his wider body of celebrated work over the course of this exciting partnership.
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