as Artist in Residence for
Chelsea Music Festival
In that first pandemic summer, I found myself unable to do much in the studio besides stare into space. I absent mindedly sorted through bags of shirts and trousers I had gathered, for years, from friends and family and companions. These garments are the base for my sewn paintings, and I found comfort in noticing how the weight and heft of a friend's body seemed to linger in a fabric. I opened scores of containers of pigments and paints I'd mixed into a great range of colors and consistencies. A few had dried out, a few had birthed a skin of mold, but most were salvageable. The processes that followed – pouring, dripping, staining, marking paint onto fabric – nudged me back into my artist shape. My paintings became slower, quieter, bluer...
for Chelsea Music Festival
High Line Nine
Performed by Saba Shabbir
& Fred Brown
Moving in and around Van Dyke's immersive installation of paintings and sculptures, the two performers make sounds in response to one another, using only their voices, bodies, and what they find in the gallery space. Instructed not to use language, the performers manifest possibilities for communicating abstractly and beyond the spoken word. "How do we remain deeply present to one another, in real time and space? How do we find each other, again, through periods of dissonance?"....
collaborative, evolving installation
with Francisco-Fernando Granados
Mass Art, Boston
1. We each bring what can fit in a single suitcase, plus anything we scavenge after we arrive.
2. Only one of us in the gallery at a time.
3. We grant each other consent to alter each other's work, as we see fit.
4. The exhibition will constantly change. It is never complete.
5. Anyone can visit at any time.
Jonathan VanDyke’s opulent sewn paintings fuse geometric pattern and expressive gesture. His works emerge through complex and prolonged processes of accumulating, mark-making, and piecing, often taking over a year to conceive and construct. Gathered from his family, friends, and companions, the fabrics that make up his paintings are stained and marked by way of techniques he first devised through long-term collaborations with performers from the NYC queer art community. Earlier sewn paintings revealed the traces of dancers who moved directly atop raw canvas, working through choreographies around themes such as submission and domination. During a long recovery from a major accident in 2017 – the artist broke both of his wrists – he undertook a period of deep research into historic craft practices...
Nanook Diversity Council, Alaska
Society for Science, Literature, and the Arts
Columbia University MFA
How can we create a different model for holding still, one that enacts warmth, reserve, attentiveness, maintenance, thoughtfulness, and receptivity? And one that counters the quick reactions build into social media platforms, and gives preference to positions of sustained listening, checking in, and making sense, while also noting where sense cannot be made. I value action and movement, I'm not arguing that we preference mind over body, or prize academic theorizing over practice. Rather, let's regard pauses as intrinsic to processes...
A Queer Practice of
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... 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
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 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....
Dickinson College, Pennsylvania
Installation of paintings, dripping sculptures, photographs, and scraps from 2014-present
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..."
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 installed a custom-made wallpaper for the space, made from over 600 unique black-and-white photocopies. 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. An important quilt, made by African-American quilter Angeline Pitts between 1875 and 1910, is a centerpiece of the exhibition...