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Jonathan Syme: Up and High, Down and Low

October 14th–November 11th, 2023

Opening reception, Saturday, October 14th 12–5pm

For information about available work, please email info@monteclarkgallery.com.

Monte Clark is pleased to present an exhibition of paintings by Jonathan Syme. On view is a new body of work depicting tactile, lyrical and explosive compositions, offering a focused investigation into perceptual transcendence.

The title, Up and High, Down and Low, suggests an exploration of dualities. Contrasts between light and shadow, chaos and tranquillity, or expansion and confinement create a visual dialogue between these opposing elements. “Up and High” may allude to moments of ecstasy, inspiration, or transcendence, while “Down and Low” could describe a feeling of grounding, rootedness and connection to the earth. This new body of work explores balance and tensions between these states. 

Each fluid composition provides a path of exploration into elevated and subdued landscapes, containing allusions to figurations. Paint is employed, not only as a means to present a visual surface, but also as a sculptural material that extends beyond the surface of the canvas and into the viewer’s physical space.

 Manifesting as substantial gestures of pigment layered upon a preceding strata of visual stimuli, these strata are cultivated through a staining technique, scraping and excessive brushwork. As Syme’s compositions undergo transformation, each layer engages in a choreographed interplay, coalescing into dynamic and spatial dimensions. These dimensions alternately recede and project in a fluid intermingling of visual phenomena, creating a richly perceptual journey for the viewer. 

The sculptural quality of the paint is extended and reinforced by the architectural expressions of the frames. With Syme’s paintings the frame is considered to be an inextricable aspect of the work, and lends to a three dimensional reading, apart from being confined to a flat painted surface. The tradition of framing a work of art has historically served to imply the status and value of the work. While Syme takes this into consideration, he intentionally subverts a traditional approach through use of unexpected colour choices and framing references. The result is a presence that is greater than the sum of its parts.

Modern, Frondescence Fold
2023
Oil on canvas in artist frame
56 x 68 inches

SOLD

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Receding, Metanoia Hush
2023
Oil on canvas in artist frame
25 x 34 inches

SOLD

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Modern, Sylvan Ramble
2023
Oil on canvas in artist frame
56 x 68 inches

Inquire

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Receding, Moonbow
2023
Oil on canvas in artist frame
22 x 23 inches

SOLD

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Receding, Tidal Orbits
2023
Oil on panel in artist frame
20 x 22 inches

SOLD

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Receding, Sloe Whispers
2023
Oil on board in artist frame
19 x 22 inches

Inquire

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Receding, Oily Shakes
2023
Oil on canvas in artist frame
21 x 18 inches

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Receding, Mossy Fandagle
2023
Oil on canvas in artist frame
20 x 22 inches

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Receding, Phantasm Essentia
2023
Oil on canvas in artist frame
55 x 44 inches

SOLD

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Receding, Candescent Canopy
2023
Oil on canvas in artist frame
75 x 71 inches

SOLD