Jon Thompson: Simple Paintings
1 November - 21 December
Preview 31 October, 6 - 8 pm
Of course they are anything but.
Initially seduced by the sublime colour relationships and the immense subtlety of the formal shifts, the title of each painting offers the viewer a door to a panoply of rich associations. Simple Painting (Thinking about Crivelli); Simple Painting (Thinking about Signorelli) – each one flashes up sparks of recognition, of the perspective structure if Crivelli’s Annunciation, of the flesh tones of Signorelli’s Last Judgement. For Thompson these paintings are about two things:
'…architecture - where by architecture I mean the main divisions of the painting - and colour. I see architecture as quite concrete like the walls that separate the rooms in a house and colour as an evanescence, a voluptuous seepage, something that can pass between spaces and breathe real life into them. In this sense the Simple Paintings deny the idea of colour as fixed relationship in favour of colour as a sequence of events. If it didn’t sound so pretentious, I would say ‘transcendent events’ because this, hopefully, is what they are: colour events transcending the limits of architecture.'
There are just three of these Simple Paintings in the exhibition and they are accompanied by a final, bridging work from Thompson’s previous series, The Toronto Cycle, a series which may well have been sub-titled ‘Thinking about Glenn Gould’. The relationship between colour and architecture remains but this time the architecture is musical. The painting has the sub-title Ophiacus and Taurus; it was between these two constellations that Voyager I was fired in 1977, bearing Gould’s recording of the Goldberg Variations into interstellar space.
Exhibiting internationally in the 60’s Thompson stopped painting for nearly 40 years. His return to the task has resulted in some of the most significant and breathtaking paintings of the last decade. Recognition of this has led to inclusion in several exhibitions and major collections in the UK, Europe and the Far East .