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Almine Rech

Jonathan Gardner

Human silhouettes, commonplace objects, geometric patterns, and architectural elements — these constitute some of the most immediately recognizable traits of Jonathan Gardner’s figurative painting. 

Born in 1982, Gardner lives and works in New York. His paintings are rendered with a surreal approach to form and perspective. His distinct point of view deconstructs the flattened canvas into isolated, cinematic storylines. Architectural devices are utilized to collapse space, creating discrete narratives threaded with mystery and wonder. The illusionary worlds of Jim Nutt, Balthus, Léger, Magritte, and Matisse come to mind, however, Gardner uniquely shows us silent settings dictated from his unconscious.

Mindful of cubist exercises, Gardner skillfully employs perspective distortions and the flattening of planes. Structural elements, often columns, serve to partition the composition into distinct scenes. The imaginary settings described by Gardner are marked by a contemplative stillness. The characters in his works, frequently engaged in ordinary activities such as dining, bathing, or reading, appear as if suspended in a timeless frame.

Jonathan Gardner received his MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in Illinois in 2010, where he studied under Chicago-based artist Jim Nutt. Recent solo exhibitions include Casey Kaplan, NY; Almine Rech, Paris and Jason Haam, Seoul. Selected group exhibitions include The Jean-François Prat Prize, Paris; The Moore Building, Miami (curated by Larry Gagosian and Jeffrey Deitch); Sadie Coles HQ, London; Nicelle Beauchene Gallery, NY; and BolteLang, Zurich.

Selected artworks

  • Jonathan Gardner,                                      Doorways, 2021

    Jonathan Gardner Doorways, 2021

    Oil on linen
    165.1 x 137.1 cm / 66 x 56 in

  • Jonathan Gardner,                                      Hotel Room, 2021

    Jonathan Gardner Hotel Room, 2021

    Oil on linen
    142.2 x 96.5 cm / 56 x 38 in

  • Jonathan Gardner,                                      Figures Waiting, 2021

    Jonathan Gardner Figures Waiting, 2021

    Graphite on paper
    36.5 x 43.5 cm / 14.4 x 17.13 in

  • Jonathan Gardner,                                      Dreamer Diptych, 2021

    Jonathan Gardner Dreamer Diptych, 2021

    Graphite on paper in two parts
    16.5 x 24.7 cm / 6.5 x 9.75 in

  • Jonathan Gardner,                                      Seasons, 2023

    Jonathan Gardner Seasons, 2023

    Oil on canvas
    127 x 167.6 cm / 50 x 66 in

  • Jonathan Gardner,                                      Night Window, 2023

    Jonathan Gardner Night Window, 2023

    Oil on canvas
    125 x 132 cm / 62 x 52 in

  • Jonathan Gardner,                                      Reader in the Mirror, 2021

    Jonathan Gardner Reader in the Mirror, 2021

    Oil on linen
    142.2 x 132 cm / 56 x 52 in

  • Jonathan Gardner,                                      The Bathhouse, 2021

    Jonathan Gardner The Bathhouse, 2021

    Oil on linen
    177.8 x 198.1 cm / 70 x 78 in

Gallery exhibitions

Museum exhibitions