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JONATHAN PURDAY | NEW UNIQUE OIL ON CANVAS WORKS

November 19th 2016
London-based artist Jonathan Purday has a series of new exclusive paintings inspired by his time in Morocco. Read more about the new works below.

The Majourelle gardens in Marrakech have been the inspiration for many of Jonathan Purday’s paintings since 2011. Very much influenced by his surroundings and the places he visits, it’s clear from his carefully executed oil on canvas works that Purday was somewhat seduced by the stunning light and vibrant colour, as he continued to examine the manicured splendour of this hidden oasis that exists amongst the dusty Moroccan city for many years to come.

The four new paintings we’re presenting here mark an exuberant end to this series; amongst them arguably some of his strongest works on the subject to date. Purday’s approach to his painting often presents itself in different ways. Working from photographs he’s taken himself to achieve the desired composition, he will often produce paintings that he’ll label ‘studies’. These works are usually less detailed, smaller in scale and more experimental than the paintings without this association; like an Artist’s Proof in printmaking or a maquette in sculpture, these works strive to guide the way to the finished article, so to speak.

The preliminary paintings are of course works of art in themselves, often giving an insight into the artist’s thought processes as he experiments with new stylistic strategies. For example, in Majourelle Noon Study in Yellow And Blue 1 and Majourelle Noon Study In Yellow And Blue 2, dripping paint and hard edge flat colour seek to explore the geometric interplay between the cropped architectural surfaces and the dominant shadows that cloak them. It can be noted how these two ‘study’ works were the preliminary paintings for the more detailed Who’s Afraid Of Red, Yellow and Blue?, with its angular perspective viewpoints and prevalent shadows.

Purday has always included historical references in his work to other art forms such as film, music and poetry. Who’s Afraid Of Red, Yellow and Blue? is a direct re-appropriation of American abstract expressionist artist Barnett Newman's series of large scale colour field paintings made between 1966 and 1970. With the title of the piece, Purday references the language of modernist painting - along with the frequent use of primary colours. Here, Purday trades the sublime for the subtle moments gleaned from following the tourist trail.

The stunning Find A Better Place To Stay 3 is the third painting in the series to take its title from a lyric in a popular song by British band Oasis, which Purday has adapted from the original words “find a better place to play”. He said about this piece: “The Oasis song echoes in your head as you look out at the grandeur of the vast pond and elaborate gardens at the end of your visit. You will then walk out of the calm to the chaotic traffic outside the ancient city walls and wonder how many of the city's population have ever visited the attraction.”

Such a strong and inviting piece, Find A Better Place To Stay 3 has the ability to make you want to step through the surface of the canvas and experience the beautiful surroundings depicted; you can almost smell the nature and feel the heat of the sun. With all these new paintings, Purday’s signature elements are ever present: the dancing sunlight bathing each scene in a myriad of reflected light and shadows, the diversity of foliage, and the sense of serenity and solitude that comes with a place which has no human presence. See the new pieces, along with other work by Jonathan Purday on his artist’s page here.
ANGIE DAVEY
Creative Director
JONATHAN PURDAY
 
JONATHAN PURDAY
Who's Afraid of Red, Yellow and Blue?
 
 
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