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Karin Weber Gallery
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The Substance of Shadows
by Karin Weber Gallery
Location: Karin Weber Gallery
Artist(s): Jonathan THOMSON
Date: 4 Jun - 3 Jul 2015

Hong Kong based Australian artist Jonathan Thomson explores his fascination with shadows and light in his debut exhibition at the Karin Weber Gallery. Notions of contemporary beauty are expressed through both revelation and concealment.

“The poetry of shadows can be mysterious, which is why we may be either unnerved or attracted to them. Shadows are often an overlooked absence, but their transient forms underline the reality of things and can illuminate truths about life’s myriad forces,“ – Jonathan Thomson

One hundred years ago Picasso invented an entirely new form of art called Cubism when he included multiple viewpoints in the same picture plane. Likewise, Jonathan Thomson's shadow sculptures and stencils are an entirely new way of depicting the human figure. Other artists have used silhouette, outline or areas of high contrast, but these are the first works that focus entirely on the shadows that a figure casts onto itself. These works literally make something out of nothing. Their lissom, sinuous forms give absence a sensuous, palpable presence. 

Says the artist, “These works are a part of my ongoing interest in pleasure, beauty and desire and how they can be best expressed through transience and elusive forms.  Shadows are a key motif in vanitas painting along with flowers, skulls, smoke and butterflies.  All things must pass, but in our hearts and minds, that what we find beautiful is a possession for all eternity.”

About the Artist

Jonathan Thomson wears many hats – including that of an artist, art historian, critic and independent curator. As an artist, he has been working for more than 20 years. Powerfully struck by Leonardo da Vinci’s observation that “shadow is a more powerful agent than light, for it can impede and entirely deprive bodies of their light while light can never expel shadow from a body,” the artist embarked on his own analysis of the subject. He has used many mediums to express himself – neon, sculptures, print-making and paintings. His work is held in private and corporate collections in Australia, Hong Kong, America, Great Britain and France. Thomson has also held solo exhibitions in Hong Kong (2010, 2011), Bangkok (2011, 2012) and was selected as a prize winner at the Kobe Biennale in 2011.

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