Orchestral flair

1 Jonathan Hunter Winter Song 2016 oil on canvas 21 x 15cm

Jonathan Hunter Winter Song 2016 oil on canvas 21 x 15cm

In a time when ‘visual culture’ can mean ‘words’, Jonathan Hunter continues to find rich possibilities in an insistently visual painterly language, writes William Gallagher

Any encounter with Jonathan Hunter’s work suggests an artist aiming at an expressive painterly resonance, between powerful colour and ambiguous narratives, maintaining a poised balance between the defined and the amorphous, the physical and the poetic. Conversation with the artist on his work, however, turns immediately not to its subjects but to its materiality; the how more than the what of the painting experience. Speaking about a recent painting, Night Crossing, rather than discussing what’s represented, he starts by considering the working of its lake colours – the transparent lake pigments, not the colours that might render the waters of a pool. Laid over one another to create the deep tones in which the swimmer floats, his immersion in colour might make an apt metaphor for the artist’s own absorption in painting.

To read this article in full, subscribe or buy this edition of the Irish Arts Review

Share