“The beauty of nature is unsurpassable. Nature is the essence, the source and the inspiration to create.” –
Conrad Jon Godly.
JD Malat Gallery is pleased to present NEVERTHELESS, a solo exhibition bringing together a new body of work from Swiss artist Conrad Jon Godly. Born in Davos, Switzerland, Godly is always seeking to capture the essence of his surrounding environment.
The exhibition represents a return to Godly’s favourite subject matter: the awe, terror, beauty, and suspense of the mountains. Godly has titled this exhibition in defiance of those who seek to pigeonhole him; yes, he has painted many mountains before, nevertheless, not one is the same, and this show presents a refined and powerful rendition of these phenomenal gifts of nature.
Godly’s unique style is caught between abstraction and representation. His paintings are never illustrations of specific mountains, instead his paintings are the product of his memory. In this way, Godly seeks to capture the emotional relationship that he has with them, creating paintings with a tangible quality; the ridges are deeply felt, the drops are sheer, the paint falls from the canvas. Godly breaks the boundary between object and viewer, letting the paintings burst into the physical space of the gallery.
From afar, the paintings appear photographic, with their realistic depictions of reflections on pure white snow. This is because of the 17 years Godly spent as a photographer before turning to the brush, which has gifted him an innate knowledge of light and composition. As a result, he gives light priority in his painting, masterfully manipulating the paint to give the impression of blinding sunlight or total darkness.
Godly’s understanding of nature’s essence allows him to create a narrative that becomes progressively darker in this exhibition. Firstly, there are his paintings of light. These canvases are his most photographic, flooded with blue and white; light emanates from the pictorial plane – focusing on hope. Secondly, there are the canvases concerned with mist. These works deal mostly in more pastoral greens and greys, split by a ravine that rushes through the centre. Finally, in his night paintings Godly revels in the theatrical nature of the mountains, lacing the thick paint with fear and danger.
Because Godly is constantly driving toward the essence of nature, his work presents a means for meditative contemplation: “My work is very meditative. That is the most important factor. And I work very fast,” he says. As Philip Maier states in ‘Conrad Jon Godly, Works +-’, “internalising these mountains has been the painterly exercise [Godly] has submitted himself to”. In internalising the mountains, Godly gets closer to his goal, and finds purpose for being.
“I think the search for the essence is an eternal search,” Godly says, “...maybe it is also the search for the self, and this constant search until death is maybe the meaning of life.”
The pandemic has solidified his devotion to the mountains, convinced of their necessity. “I made a break and I took time to think deeply about our world, our society, the politicians... how humans destroy our planet. In these difficult times people are longing for real things.” In contrast to politicians, Godly suggests a mountain is always true to you, eternally, indestructibly.
Godly is in the collections of the Swiss National Bank, Switzerland, the UBS Bank, Switzerland, Credit Suisse, Switzerland, Julius Bär Bank, Switzerland, DAROS collection, Switzerland, and the GKB (Bank Carton of Grisons), Switzerland.
CONRAD JON GODLY
18 November 2020 – 9 January 2021
Exhibition Opening Hours:
Monday – Friday, 10am – 6pm
Saturday, 12pm – 6pm
JD Malat Gallery, 30 Davies St, Mayfair, London, W1K 4NB
Bryce Watanasoponwong is a Thai-Australian artist with a passion for combining street photography and abstract art to create compositions that layer textures. He notes: “I love to explore surroundings most people pass by without ever noticing—worlds of daily lives that, upon closer inspection, open into stories of perspective.” The rippling water and sequin curtains are amongst his varied subject matter, where colours and shapes are seen close-up, obscuring the view and transforming the context of the image. The works shown here are from The Colours of Emotion series.
Bryce has participated in numerous exhibitions and art fairs in Asia, Australia and North America. He made his first US sale in May 2019 and donated the proceeds to The Association of Community Employment Program for the Homeless. Early in 2020, he gave a personal interview for Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) TV’s The Mix, which featured him and his photography, broadcast on Saturday, 14/03/2020 (https://iview.abc.net.au/show/mix/series/0/video/NC2016H008S00). In August 2020, he received an honorary mention in Life Framer’s STREET LIFE (https://www.life-framer.com/street-life-2020/), judged by the legendary conceptual documentary photographer Philip-Lorca diCorcia.
“Brilliantly framed on the streets of Dhaka, Bangladesh, Bryce’s poetic street story plays out in gorgeous primary colors picked out by the setting sun. A construction worker laughs with a police officer as a bus passes by, and the central subject catches our eye. It feels wonderfully illustrative of a place – ordered chaos; busy, vibrant beauty – and of the complexity of life as elements momentarily align before fragmenting off in all directions once again.” – Life Framer
Since then, he has exhibited his work once again at Eat Me Art Restaurant (https://www.instagram.com/eatmerestaurant/), Bangkok, Thailand—this time, a select edition from The Colours of Emotion series
And, from 22/10/20 to 31/10/20, he will exhibit his work at the second edition of Venice Photo Lab (https://www.venicephotolab.it/artists-2020/) in Venice, Italy. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GtBy_BSwZco
Up next is his participation in The Other Art Fair, Sydney, Australia. (https://www.saatchiart.com/theotherartfair/sydney-mar-2020/1309169)
JD Malat Gallery is honoured to present Atonal Drift, a new body of work by one of Turkey’s leading emerging artists, Zümrütoğlu.
In October 2020, Atonal Drift will bring together Zümrütoğlu’s highly expressive paintings and sculptures in an attempt to demonstrate how the artist explores the theme of the ‘dissonant and disharmonious body’ and the possibilities of figurative abstraction across different mediums.
The title of the exhibition, Atonal Drift, marks an extension of the progressive thinking first expressed by Austrian-born composer and painter, Arnold Schoenberg (1874-1951). ‘Atonality’ has been understood as a conscious attempt to avoid traditional harmony in music. Taking on the broadest sense of the term - as deviation from traditional structures and integral frameworks of different practices - ‘atonal’ in Zümrütoğlu’s new body of work denotes his ability to challenge the conventions of figurative painting to express a dissonant human form, while ‘drift’ demonstrates his shift from the canvas to sculpture.
Informed by Western literature, philosophy and music, Zümrütoğlu’s work to date has engaged with the darker side of human existence. With swirling strokes and splashes of thickly applied paint, Zümrütoğlu presents figures whose corporeal boundaries are pushed beyond their limits. Such twisted and visceral forms mark an expression of Zümrütoğlu’s contemplation of the darkness of humanity and bring to life what he calls ‘the disharmonious body’.
The dynamism of colour and fleshy painterliness which first captivated Zümrütoğlu’s audience through his paintings, is now offered to the viewer through his new sculptural work. After a visceral shock, or being hit ‘in the gut’ as Zümrütoğlu often states, one begins to see figures slowly emerge and materialise through the thick paint and ceramic forms. A careful encounter with these works will alert the viewer not only to the baseness of human nature, but also our desire to search for harmony amongst chaos. Engaging the viewer through painting and sculpture, Atonal Drift is a theatrical celebration of the best and worst of humanity in every sense and emotion.
The diverse range of work on display will enable the London audience to appreciate why Zümrütoğlu has caught the eye of a global audience as well as collectors from Turkey, France and Germany. Notable collections of Zümrütoğlu’s work include Istanbul Modern Museum, Turkey and Elgiz Museum, Turkey. Zümrütoğlu has also exhibited across the world in galleries such as Pilevneli Gallery, Turkey, Tammen & Patner Galerie, Germany and Galerie Ivan Ptakhine, France.
JD Malat Gallery specialises in contemporary art and champions a broad spectrum of emerging and international contemporary artists. The programme consists of an array of exciting artists supported by year-round exhibitions and contemporary art fairs. This exhibition underlines JD Malat Gallery’s wider international programme and seeks to strengthen the dialogue between artists and viewers across the world.
Zümrütoğlu: Atonal Drift
9 October to 14 November 2020
Exhibition Opening Hours: Monday – Friday, 10am - 6pm Saturday, 12 – 6pm