Jonathan Lasker

Recent Paintings

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Recent Paintings

Recent Paintings

Press release

"My painting is both spontaneous and highly conscious. There is a split between the conscious and the unconscious. My painting is very flexible, it goes back and forth between the two."
Jonathan Lasker


We are delighted to announce our fourth exhibition with new works by the American painter Jonathan Lasker.

Jonathan Lasker was born in Jersey City, New Jersey, in 1948; he lives and works in New York City. Since the early 1980s, his work has been exhibited in many one-man shows, including the ICA Philadelphia, Kunsthalle Bielefeld, Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam and Kunstverein St. Gallen. He participated in the 1992 documenta IX in Kassel.

After a highly acclaimed travelling exhibition in 2000 (St. Louis, Toronto, Waltham and Birmingham) with a selection of pictures from the 1990s, Jonathan Lasker's presence in the art world culminated in a major retrospective, Jonathan Lasker 1977-2003, in the North Rhine-Westphalia Art Collection in Düsseldorf and the famous Reina Sofía Museum in Madrid.

From the late 1970s, Lasker's formal language developed from a reaction to an increasingly conceptual trend in art, against which he wished to explore the possibilities of painting, aiming at a system of painting "which could legitimise itself" (Jonathan Lasker).

The formal language of Lasker's pictures is abstract. The spectrum ranges from cipher-like markings to forms which might be categorised more as emblematic. They are always, however, self-referential, thus concerning painting itself, which Lasker takes as his actual theme by conjugating its multifarious linguistic and syntactic possibilities. His resources here range from simple and often extensive scriptural drawing to extremely thick layers of paint calculated to create tension on open coloured surfaces.

Lasker's painting is rigorously calculated. His paintings are pictures of pictures. He designs his compositions in the finest detail, in small-scale and mini-formats, and then recreates them precisely on a larger scale. Thus he inserts a filter between the original spontaneous act of painting and the picture which confronts the viewer, the result being a kind of "frozen spontaneity" (Hans-Michael Herzog). Over the years, these preliminary studies have assumed increasing importance in Jonathan Lasker's work.