2014 – 2015
Movements for Monoliths
Storm King Art Center
Series of 3-hour performances
"The terrain of Storm King Art Center is re-imagined as a backdrop and stage where the sculptures become supporting 'characters.' The two performers carry paint-stained tarps and signs, folding, manipulating, and interacting with these painterly objects. At times they move their banners as if at the head of a street protest, while in other segments they playfully suggest a high school color guard troop inventing a new political language, a pair of street performers who have wandered off path, or a couple of blind, primary-colored ghosts. The monochrome, mutable canvases might serve as ground covering, tent, backdrop, dance floor, uniform, flag..."
L blue N black I green
M orange K violet
"How can the language and meaning of gesture be re-thought through the practice of painting today? This is one of the questions that Jonathan VanDyke raises in his art, which melds the expressive force of gesture as presence with a sense of the contingency of bodies moving together and against one another. His practice, an expansion of painting that embraces space, gesture and multilayered visual codings, pivots around the extended dialogue between artist and his collaborators, David Rafael Botana and Bradley Teal Ellis. Looking at gesture not simply as a sign of personal agency, but as a trace of energy between deeply engaged partners, his work charts a new territory for the relevance of gestural painting in contemporary art, guided not just by innovative forms of mark-making but by deep and extended looking...."
Solo presentation, Berlin
Presented by Loock Galerie
"At abc berlin, Loock Galerie presents the New York-based Jonathan VanDyke with an installation linking painting and performance. For the specific site he has mounted a tall, free-standing wooden fence creating both an exhibition and social space.
On the outside of the fence a series of paintings are mounted. The marks on the surface of the canvas are made through a series of movements and choreographies created with the dancer-couple David Rafael Botana and Bradley Teal Ellis. These canvases are cut and sewn into vibrant patterns that refer to the early 20th-century Amish quilt and to Futurist and Cubist experiments. VanDyke´s paintings combine the strict geometry and labor of sewing of each piece of canvas with the messy, sexualized by-products of body movement and human relationship."
Three interrelated performances; 11 hours
Fire Island Pines, NYC, presented by NYPAC
"Taking its title from Camus’ novel The Stranger, the project revolves around charged notions of looking, of searching, and of disconnection, transposing an existential framework onto the historically gay setting of Fire Island Pines in NY. A woman wanders out of the Meat Rack, a site famous for male cruising, dressed as if for work, wearing heels through the sand and water and carrying a purse that drips paint. She wanders through the mostly-male sections of the Fire Island Pines, paint dropping behind her as she strikes poses that silently interrogate the gendered beach. On another part of the island, a male performer stands and stares at the sea for 5 hours while paint slowly drips down his back, refusing to move while the beach becomes increasingly empty..."
A Crisis in the Life of an Actress
installation & performance
Four Boxes Gallery, Denmark
An installation of new paintings, a set for an ongoing video shoot, and a live performance created in collaboration with students at Krabbesholm Højskole, Denmark.
The students improvise with art materials in front of an audience, building up, painting, and knocking down each other's free-form structures, never settling into clarity or specificity. A series of dramatic "interventions" further interrupts the fluid development of the piece, from one student leading a protest march using signs that allude to abstract paintings, to another student interrupting the sculpture-making by practicing an 80's Jane Fonda workout routine.
Loock Galerie, Berlin
"The diamond of the Harlequin is a flattened facet. His fashion is at once costume of the devilish trickster and uniform of the aristocracy’s entertainer. He wears all dimensions one next to the other in a field of vision that suggests depth—and yet always slips into a smooth plane of illusory pattern.
For his first solo exhibition in Berlin at Loock Galerie, Jonathan VanDyke has produced a new series that furthers his formal play with the diamond, choreographies of netted bodies, performers leaking paint, and traces of their labored stains left on the surface of the canvas. VanDyke works with dancers in his studio, whose bodies move with and against each other, dripping and interlocking to smear trajectories of color and Freudenfluss across the plane of the canvas...."