January 12, 2008
through February 9, 2008
NEW YORK, NY (January 2, 2008) — Jonathan LeVine Gallery is pleased to present Target Practice, a solo exhibition featuring an exciting collection of new paintings and drawings by Jonathan Viner. This will be the artist’s second solo show at the gallery, and his largest exhibition to date. Viner’s work has continued to mature in both form and scope and in his newest body of work he delves into themes of vulnerability, power, and survival. The artist chose to call his exhibit Target Practice not only because it fits the subject matter of this work, but also because it functions as a metaphor for his time in the studio. “Imagine waking up, going alone to a secluded field, and shooting at targets all day, every day, for your entire life,” he recently said. “That’s basically what I do.”
Working on smooth gessoed panels in oils, Viner builds his images gradually; layer upon layer, resulting in vividly detailed subjects and environments of remarkable depth and atmosphere. There is no linear narrative thread running through this body of work. However, Viner's repetition of visual motifs seems to link some paintings to others, in a nonlinear fashion. The significance of any such connections is left for the viewer to decipher. In Target Practice, Viner depicts people who are scrambling for safety in a hostile world. They peer through binoculars, take cover behind walls, don armor, wield weapons, sit and worry, or strip naked in order to survive and grow. While the subject matter may be ominous and bleak, the viewer is seduced and assuaged by the stark beauty of Viner's imagery.
*Jonathan Viner is also known as Jonathan Weiner
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Born in 1976 in New York, Jonathan Viner* was raised up and down the east coast of the United States. After receiving a BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1998, he moved to New York City, where he lives and works today. Viner’s work draws upon a broad range of cultural influences that include a variety of Old Masters, contemporary American pop culture, and psychology. A significant theme in his work is the exploration of power relationships, particularly as they relate to safety and danger. The subtle hues and rich value ranges of Viner’s skillfully crafted oil paintings help to create an atmosphere of palpable tension. While his subjects are carefully delineated, Viner’s work offers the viewer space for contemplation, introspection, and conversation. Viner’s paintings and drawings are the subject of a 2006 monograph, Tranquil Aftermath, co-published by Jonathan LeVine Gallery and Murphy Design.