Jonathan Lasker Jonathan Lasker

Jonathan Lasker

American
b. 1948
/

Overview

'In my works the three visual elements of figure, ground and line work a little like a jazz trio in the way they achieve visual counterpoint.'

Since the late 1970s, Jonathan Lasker has developed a distinctive formal vocabulary based on different mark-making processes, including structural grids, graphic tangled lines and impasto strokes of paint that create a raised relief on the canvas. Although he creates these forms intuitively, the compositions themselves are highly structured and controlled. He questions the mechanics of abstraction, exploring the gap between marks, which are primarily self-referential, and signs, which represent something outside themselves. As the artist describes, 'My goal is to bring the viewer to the threshold of narrativity without crossing over, to bring the viewer to the state of pure pictorialism. Therefore I decided to use unrecognisable abstract forms as surrogate figures [that] would convey the pure condition of being a thing in space.'

At the forefront of artists who have continued to explore the possibilities of painting after Minimalism and Conceptualism, he has also mounted a challenge to the medium's status quo, aiming at a system of painting 'which could legitimise itself'. He uses doubled, transposed and translated forms to create a unique visual language composed of distinct, clearly defined elements. 'In Lasker's work, images […] are part of a larger schema, but independent in terms of form, colour, texture, and manner of paint application,' describes art critic Richard Kalina. 'Each image becomes a thing itself, an element to be examined, experienced and categorised; a component of the larger grammatical structure that Lasker has built.' The compositions which form are arrived at by the viewer interpretively rather than literally, through an active engagement with the different abstract figures on the canvas and the relationships between them.

Since the late 1970s, Jonathan Lasker has developed a distinctive formal vocabulary based on different mark-making processes, including structural grids, graphic tangled lines and impasto strokes of paint that create a raised relief on the canvas. Although he creates these forms intuitively, the compositions themselves are highly structured and controlled. He questions the mechanics of abstraction, exploring the gap between marks, which are primarily self-referential, and signs, which represent something outside themselves. As the artist describes, 'My goal is to bring the viewer to the threshold of narrativity without crossing over, to bring the viewer to the state of pure pictorialism. Therefore I decided to use unrecognisable abstract forms as surrogate figures [that] would convey the pure condition of being a thing in space.'

At the forefront of artists who have continued to explore the possibilities of painting after Minimalism and Conceptualism, he has also mounted a challenge to the medium's status quo, aiming at a system of painting 'which could legitimise itself'. He uses doubled, transposed and translated forms to create a unique visual language composed of distinct, clearly defined elements. 'In Lasker's work, images […] are part of a larger schema, but independent in terms of form, colour, texture, and manner of paint application,' describes art critic Richard Kalina. 'Each image becomes a thing itself, an element to be examined, experienced and categorised; a component of the larger grammatical structure that Lasker has built.' The compositions which form are arrived at by the viewer interpretively rather than literally, through an active engagement with the different abstract figures on the canvas and the relationships between them.

Born in New Jersey in 1948, Lasker lives and works in New York. He initially pursued a career as a rock musician before studying at the School of Visual Arts in New York and the California Institute of the Arts in Valencia. Early solo exhibitions include the ICA Philadelphia in 1992 and a retrospective that travelled to the Kunsthalle Bielefeld, Germany; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; and Kunstverein St. Gallen, Switzerland in 1997–98, followed by exhibitions at the Rose Art Museum, Brandeis University, Waltham, USA; Forum for Contemporary Art, St. Louis, USA; and The Power Plant, Toronto. A major retrospective of his work was held in 2003 at the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid and the Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Düsseldorf. In 2015, the exhibition Jonathan Lasker: Paintings 2001–2014 was shown at the Musée d'art moderne et contemporain in Saint-Étienne, France.

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From the Studio Jonathan Lasker

From the Studio

Jonathan Lasker
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Jonathan Lasker Peintures Récentes

Jonathan Lasker

Peintures Récentes

Publications

Jonathan Lasker

Jonathan Lasker

2012
Jonathan Lasker
€ 15.00
Abstrakt

Abstrakt

1998
Out of print
Atmospheric image Atmospheric image
Installation view of Yan Pei-Ming's Against the Light at Thaddaeus Ropac Salzburg Villa Kast Installation view of Yan Pei-Ming's Against the Light at Thaddaeus Ropac Salzburg Villa Kast
Atmospheric image Atmospheric image