2018 – present
Des Moines Art Center, Iowa
Nerman Museum of Art, Kansas
December 2019–March 2020
"For more than a century, many Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer artists have turned to the language of abstraction to illustrate diverse facets of sexuality and gender. In response to specific struggles—such as the criminalization of homosexuality, the Civil Rights Movement, and the AIDS crisis—queer artists have embraced abstraction to communicate their unauthorized desires and identities through an accepted mode of art. Marsden Hartley’s modernist portrait of his fallen lover, Louise Fishman’s queer feminist canvases, and Felix Gonzalez-Torres’s tender, conceptual works are but a few examples. Currently, abstract art that embodies this mode of expression has gained the moniker “Queer Abstraction,” and has become a growing aesthetic force during the present, unsettling era. Queer Abstraction unites contemporary artists who utilize the amorphous possibilities of abstraction to convey what it means to exist on the margins." –Des Moines Art Center
How to Operate in
a Dark Room
I am in the studio, preparing this show. Around me are hundreds of pieces of painted and stained textiles, stacked and gathered on tables. You will find small shapes, marked with intricate details, that could fit in the palm of your hand. Their palette is dark, but turn them over and you see brightly dyed linen on the other side. You will find whole t-shirts stained with gradations of color, through a process of accumulation that takes weeks. Laid out on the ground are denim jeans that have absorbed thin pours of paint, and some that have been dyed so that their blues have turned blue-green and blue-violet. Soon I’ll rip these t-shirts and jeans apart, but for now they’re whole enough that you could assemble an outfit....
The Ladder Maker
Dickinson College, Pennsylvania
Installation of paintings, dripping sculptures, photographs, and scraps from 2014-present
The Patient Eye (performance)
Installation and 48-hour performance
The Columbus Museum, Georgia
"Over the course of 7 days, Jonathan VanDyke stands and silently contemplates 16 historic quilts for 3 hours each. VanDyke chose these graphically dynamic quilts from the museum's collection. These rarely-displayed quilts, some of which have never been on public view, were originally used as functional objects in the domestic sphere, and in many cases their makers are anonymous. The performance takes place within an installation in the museum's central galleria space, offering long views of these objects' aesthetically bold and abstract patterns..."
The Patient Eye (exhibition)
Installation in the Leeburn Gallery
The Columbus Museum, Georgia
Jonathan VanDyke curated this exhibition, featuring two of his paintings along with objects he chose from the museum's collection. The artist created a custom-made wallpaper for the space, utilizing over 600 black-and-white photocopies: no copy appears more than twice. In choosing works from the museum's collection vaults, the artist sought out objects that were rarely, if ever, on public view, displaying them in a manner that blurs the distinction between material culture and objects of art. He re-arranged the miniature furnishings inside an early 20th century dollhouse kitchen and the pieces of a wooden block set in a playful manner, bringing new meaning and life to historic objects. An important quilt, made by African-American quilter Angeline Pitts between 1875 and 1910, is a centerpiece of the exhibition...