Jonathan VanDyke's work reflects on the unfolding of art objects in dynamic relationship to the passing of time. He seeks a reclamation of the sensorial realm, with an emphasis on modes of attention and embodiment. Manifested through installations, paintings, videos, sculpture, writings, collaborative projects, and live and durational works featuring performers from the queer community of which he is a part, VanDyke's work prioritizes slowness, pauses, subtexts, and doubt.
The artist's object-based work is often the result of "piecing": the base for his complex paintings, for example, are textiles that have been worn by friends and companions, then painted and stained through slow processes of accumulation, cut into shapes and patterns, and sewn together. The resulting double-sided works, which are often shown in sculptural and architectural installations, are conceived of as tools for long looking. Similarly, his photographs and videos are often made from scores of images, pieced together, while his sculptural works take on issues of duration by changing over time. His durational performances have stretched for as long as 48-hours, such as The Patient Eye, in which he asked The Columbus Museum to center itself around a collection of historic quilts, made primarily by anonymous women and most of which had never been on public view: he observed these works silently for 7 days, joined throughout by community members.
VanDyke leads immersive, hands-on workshops internationally. This work models the idea of art practices that tempers the will of the individual artist, taking into account the life of objects, the sustainable use of materials, the possibilities of collaboration, and the myriad points of view and points of entry of diverse audiences.
Solo exhibitions and installations include 1/9unosunove in Rome, Loock Galerie Berlin, Tops Gallery in Memphis, Four Boxes Gallery in Denmark, NADA New York, Scaramouche in New York, abc berlin, Socrates Sculpture Park, The Islip Art Museum, The Museum of Fine Arts at FSU, The University of Rochester Hartnett Gallery, Luis de Jesus Los Angeles, Goodyear Gallery at Dickinson College, and The Columbus Museum in Georgia, among others. Solo performances have appeared at Storm King Art Center, Este Arte in Uruguay, The Power Plant in Toronto, Vox Populi in Philadelphia, The National Academy Museum in New York, The Albright-Knox Art Gallery, and Knockdown Center in Queens, NY. In 2022 he was appointed Artist in Residence for The Chelsea Music Festival, through which he presented multi-media work in various venues in NYC. His work has been featured in many group exhibitions, including Queer Abstraction, a major survey at The Des Moines Art Center, and reviewed and featured in many publications, including Art Forum, Art Papers, Modern Painters, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Time Out New York, T Magazine, Bomb, and Art Review, and Mia Le Journal.
He has been a resident at many institutions, including Yaddo, The Hans Scharoun House of the Ferdinand Moller Foundation in Germany, Qwatz in Rome, The Swimming Hole Foundation, and at The William Penn Performing Arts Institute through a major Artists & Communities grant from The Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation.
VanDyke has served as a Visiting Faculty Fellow at The University of Chicago, Illinois State University, The Pennsylvania Governor’s School for International Studies, Krabbesholm Academy in Denmark, and The University of Alaska Fairbanks; has been a visiting artist and critic at many institutions, including CalArts, Columbia University, Florida State University, The Museum School in Boston, Cranbrook Academy of Art, Parsons The New School, Tyler School of Art Rome, American University, and the University of Tennessee Knoxville; and has served on the faculty of Mass Art, The University of the Arts, The Corcoran School at GWU, Cornell University, and The University of the Arts/ Pig Iron MFA Program in Devised Performance. He is currently an Artist in Residence in Studio Arts at Bard College.
VanDyke studied at the Glasgow School of Art and the University of Glasgow as the recipient of a Rotary International Fellowship. He received his MFA from The Milton Avery School at Bard College. He was a resident at the Atlantic Center for the Arts through a Joan Mitchell Foundation Grant, where he was mentored by the artist Paul Pfeiffer. In 2008 he attended the Skowhegan School for Painting and Sculpture, where he studied with Harmony Hammond, Julianne Swartz, Charles Gaines, Francis Cape, and Yun Fei Ji.
He started his career as Director and Curator of the Susquehanna Art Museum in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.