Jon Manteau – Prelude to SkyLand, October 5th – 28th, 2018

Posted on: Friday, September 21st, 2018
Jon Manteau – Skyland Jon Manteau I SkyLand I House paint on photo-printed wallpaper on PVC panel I 72” x 192” I 2018

October 5 – 28, 2018
First Friday, October 5, 5 – 9 pm
Artist Reception, Saturday, October 6, 3 – 6 pm

319 N. 11th St.
1st floor
Philadelphia, PA 19107

LGTripp Gallery is pleased to announce Prelude to SkyLand, an exhibition of new paintings by Philadelphia-based artist Jon Manteau. This is his fifth solo show with gallery director Luella Tripp and the first pop-up exhibition for LGTripp.

The first in a two-part exhibition, this presentation serves as an introduction or a “prelude” to a larger exhibition that will follow in 2019. In marked contrast to Manteau’s expansive past exhibitions, ‘Prelude to Skyland’ consists of works made for an intimate space, in which the artist deftly explores three themes connected by the notion of a place called SkyLand.

SkyLand, “A place where your dreams and nightmares come true, where metaphor and reality collide, where fact is fiction, fiction fact, both beautiful and hideous, love and death, light and dark.”, states Manteau. A photograph, based on an actual location, serves as both inspiration and invitation to his artistry. (Sky Land, a cabin/hotel complex, is located on Skyline Drive in Virginia’s Shenandoah National Park)

“For Jagger’s Bedroom”, “paintings made for my fictional son, Jagger. My art works have always been my children, but at 55…I often wonder what having a child might have been like?” Evoking childhood memories of jigsaw puzzles, these small paintings on play mats are colorful, playful and interactive.

“Make America…”, in this series, constructed from Manteau’s personal collection of hand-painted “Americana,” the artist offers the viewer a portion of a slogan or phrase inviting them to interpret the work according to their own viewpoint and presumptions.

What may appear as seemingly disparate themes, all are connected, formally and conceptually, by the artist’s longstanding interest in mark making. As a child, Manteau copied his mother’s drawings (how he learned to make his first marks), through his teenage years as a graffiti-artist in the subways of Philadelphia (leaving his mark), his never ending interest in the historical (marking a time, place, event or object), or formal qualities of the picture plane (e.g., “stripe painting” – Manteau studied under Sean Scully in the early 1980s). The formal themes dominating his work for over 30 years remain the same; the warping of the figure-ground relationship, a seemingly endless accumulation of gestural mark making, one mark informing the next. Color-rich latex stripes of paint, poured with intentionality, cascade down and across the surface… all characteristic of Manteau’s unmistakable signature style. In this exhibition, he has sought to offset his formal concerns with a conceptual narrative – both personal and universal – creating a tension that encourages a visual dialogue with the viewer and challenges preconceptions of his work.

A native son of Philadelphia, Jon Manteau graduated from Central High School. He studied at Parsons School of Design, NYC, under Sean Scully and went on to receive a certificate from the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, where he was awarded the William Emlen Cresson Memorial Traveling Scholarship. He later earned an MFA from the University of Delaware. An art teacher and college professor for over twenty-five years, Manteau has taught at the University of Delaware, Tyler School of Art, and is currently building the Art Department at Penn State Brandywine. His works have been exhibited nationally and are in collections throughout the United States and Canada.

More about this exhibition…

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