Raymond Jonson: Medium and Message
Louis Stern Fine Arts
West Hollywood, CA
May 13 – June 24, 2023
Beginning in the late 1930s, New Mexico-based Modernist painter Raymond Jonson abandoned highly abstracted figures, landscapes, and architectural forms for purely nonobjective explorations of color and mood. In removing all references to the physical world, these works – “absolute” paintings, as Jonson preferred to designate them – transcend political, economic, or social concerns, providing a direct conduit to the artist’s spirit. This transition coincided with his co-founding of the Transcendental Painting Group, a coterie of artists who sought to create non-representational artwork as an instrument for understanding the self and communicating spiritual concerns.
Inspired by the Bauhaus artists, Jonson adopted innovative airbrush techniques beginning in 1938, which allowed for a greater range of subtle effects and an immediacy in the act of painting. Unencumbered by the intermediary mechanics of a brush, Jonson could apply paint quickly and seamlessly in a manner that eliminated all traces of his hand in the making. The purity of color and form possible with this approach reduces sensations associated with objective experience, enabling a deeper and more refined transmission of the artist’s spiritual awareness and insight.
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