Jonathan Rossney

Our exhibition at Art Upstairs in May 2007 featured paintings by Jonathan Rossney. Jonathan's paintings are abstract linear compositions in rich colours. Viewed closely you see multi-layered straight lines and broken lines laid across the paper surface in all directions; as you move further away you become more aware of the white spaces between the lines and of the shapes and movements that the intersecting lines create. Jonathan’s works are at once definite and elusive; concentrated looking at any piece will reward the viewer enormously yet the glimpse, the seeing from the corner of the eye, the momentary glance will reward in equal measure.

Some Notes on the Works

“What is on show in this exhibition is my work from the last year, painted since I moved down to Wexford from Dublin. (There must be something inspiring in the country air!). In these paintings I am trying to combine systematic elements, emotional elements, and indeterminate/chance elements in order to create compositions which strike a balance between order and chaos, freedom and restriction. I prefer not to say anything more; I leave it to the viewer to take what they want from these pieces.

The titles of the paintings, with two exceptions, come from two sources: Anne Carson’s If Not, Winter: Fragments of Sappho”, and Oliver Sacks’ Awakenings. The titles taken from Carson’s book (for example, “...downrushing...”) are translations of all that is left of a whole poem, the rest having been lost through time. Those from Sacks’ book are descriptions of, or by, patients with Parkinson’s.

The two exceptions are “...aphinar...”, a word used by Rimbaud as he lay dying in Marseille, which refers to a place (or a person?) that nobody can precisely identify, and “Once I Was”, which is the title of a song by Tim Buckley.”