Tuesday, April 2, 2013

John Bonner: People: Public, Private

McGowanFine Art announces the opening of “John Bonner: People: Public, Private” featuring recent paintings of John Bonner. The show will run from April 23 – May 24, with an artist’s reception on April 26 from 5 to 7 PM. This show is free and open to the public.

Originally from England, John Bonner currently resides in Marblehead, Massachusetts. He paints what is immediately around him – often familiar, pubic spaces.  “My hope is that viewers will often identify the places as ones they may have seen or visited themselves or, if not the actual place, something very similar, and see them in a new way”.  He often includes items in his paintings that are typically left out, such as satellite dishes, phone lines, parked cars, and trash. Bonner’s scenes lend significance to the ordinary.  “It’s important to me to acknowledge and embrace the truth of what is actually there”.

Bonner’s subject alternates between buildings and people. In his recent work, he focuses on people. His recent paintings are reminiscent of the Ashcan School artists -- such as Henri, Sloan, and Hopper – artists painting during the early 20th century, known for portraying scenes of daily life.

The view from his office window in Boston informs Bonner's painting style, capturing snapshot-like compositions of people in the urban environment.  Bonner shoots high definition video of the area, capturing freeze frames, and later collages together likely scenes in his studio. The stroke of his paintbrush seems to be as fleeting as the glimpse through his window. He clearly revels in the creative act of putting the paint to canvas, but he is also a master of gesture and color. His quick strokes capture the distinct walk of a woman in flip flops or the hunched concentration of a phone-texter. His use of glazes perfectly captures the lit neon traffic signs ubiquitous on every corner or the feel of wet pavement on tar or cement.

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