Jonathan Gardner (b. 1982, Lexington, KY) flattens pictorial space to create familiar, yet imaginary scenes drawn from personal experience and collective memory. Inspired by modern masters throughout art history, his paintings are reconstructed narratives of traditional subjects—such as still life, figuration, and landscapes—with hyper-stylized compositions.
Integrating images from his personal cache of experiences and figures and objects from art history—his works weave together partial scenes from his stylish and leisurely world that are all at once familiar, yet foreign. Gardner’s works reflect an instantly recognizable pictorial language and a highly personal approach to narratives, which are defined by his understanding of art history and visual techniques. Experimenting with composition and scale through a collage-based process, the artist manipulates spatial depth and perspective, which achieves a trompe l’oeil effect. This deliberate form of image-making creates a sense of continuity and fluidity throughout his body of work, allowing for a seamless visual transition between the multiple narratives in Gardner’s single universe.
Gardner received his BFA from the School of Visual Arts in New York in 2007 and 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; Mary Mary, Glasgow; and Corbett vs. Dempsey, Chicago. Selected group exhibitions include Almine Rech, Paris; 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.
Gardner currently lives and works in New York, NY.