Anthony Reynolds

Jon Thompson

01 Nov - 07 Dec 2013

Simple Paintings
1 November – 7 December 2013

Of course they are anything but.
Initially seduced by the sublime colour relationships and the immense subtlety of the formal shifts, the title of each painting offers the viewer a door to a panoply of rich associations. Simple Painting (Thinking about Crivelli); Simple Painting (Thinking about Signorelli) – each one flashes up sparks of recognition, of the perspective structure if Crivelli’s Annunciation, of the flesh tones of Signorelli’s Last Judgement. For Thompson these paintings are about two things: “...architecture ­ where by architecture I mean the main divisions of the painting ­ and colour. I see architecture as quite concrete like the walls that separate the rooms in a house and colour as an evanescence, a voluptuous seepage, something that can pass between spaces and breathe real life into them. In this sense the Simple Paintings deny the idea of colour as fixed relationship in favour of colour as a sequence of events. If it didn’t sound so pretentious, I would say ‘transcendent events’ because this, hopefully, is what they are: colour events transcending the limits of architecture.”

There are four Simple Paintings in the exhibition. They are accompanied by a blistering new work, Donne’s Crosse: Meridians Crossing Parallels, which has at its heart a well of blue­black of extraordinary intensity both mirroring and absorbing the cascade of surrounding colours that jostle its periphery. On the surface of this darkness and hidden beneath it, the crosses alluded to in the title shimmer and pulsate.

Looke down, thow spiest out Crosses in small things;
Looke up, thou seest birds rais’d on crossed wings; All the Globe’s frame, and spheres, is nothing else But the Meridians crossing Parallels
(From John Donne, The Crosse)

Exhibiting internationally in the 60’s Thompson stopped painting for nearly 40 years. His return to the task has resulted in some of the most significant and breathtaking paintings of the last decade. Recognition of this has led to inclusion in several exhibitions and major collections in the UK, Europe and the Far East.

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