Artist's Reception Friday Evening, June 2, 2017, 5-8 pm - Artist Talk, 6 pm
Lanning Gallery in Sedona, Arizona opens the new exhibition “Jonathan Howard: Oblique Dialogue” and welcomes the riveting and challenging artist back to the gallery for an opening night 1st Friday reception. Howard gives an Artist Talk at 6 pm that is free and open to the public. (read more below)
In a gritty, unsentimental style unseen anywhere in Sedona, Jonathan Howard portrays the reality of what is. He leads us, perhaps surprisingly to a deep embrace of the world around us in all its complexities and humanity: Faces, facades, bridges and blocks of city living.
This new exhibition also marks a return to the layered textures and collage elements first explored by the artist between 2008 and 2012. After turning his focus to oils for awhile, Howard realized that he really preferred not to paint with paint alone. Scale is another departure for Jonathan Howard: “The new body of work is decidedly smaller and more intimate. My goal is to really scale the work down and make the viewer really look closely at all the different elements. I guess in a time of bombastic uproar it's nice to speak to people quietly.”
It is these quiet details, these layers not only of literal material but of emotional material that provide the power and the intrigue in any Jonathan Howard painting. “As an artist I can only create work that addresses my feeling and strike for a universality that will let the work speak outside of my times alone.”
The muted, limited palette of Jonathan Howard keeps his graphics center stage. His imagery asks us to project or engage in our own manner. Symbolism is subtle, such as a windblown flag twisted on its pole, portrayed in strong black elements against a collaged ground of gray. To Jonathan Howard the image “speaks to the fact that we try to impose black or white solutions onto a world that is nothing but shades of gray, stained by history of what has come before. The end result is a tangled up country.” For the artist, however, the politics of one side or another doesn’t enter into his work: “In fact, I think the partisan stuff is merely theater to move people to react one way or another. Essentially, manufactured.”
It is, instead, reality, in its many guises, both realized and unspoken, that drives the imagery of Jonathan Howard. There is a liberation for the artist in portraying the honesty of emotion that he represents. A purging that allows a lightness to emerge.
Stop in to the opening of “Jonathan Howard: Oblique Dialogue” and meet the engaging artist; enjoy the Artist Talk by Jonathan Howard at 6 pm. This exhibition runs through June 11th. NEW extended springtime hours: Open till 8 pm Thurs-Sats, through June.
View additional works by Jonathan Howard here.