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Jon Joanis:Study for Solstice With Two Trees

Jon Joanis:Study for Solstice With Two Trees


Signed and dated on reverse

Gouache and coloured pencil on paper

20 x 16 inches


Jon Joanis, Study for Solstice with Two Trees

The title of Study for Solstice with Two Trees (2021), reiterates the reflective nature of Joanis’ ‘Isolation works’. The series is characterised by fantastical landscapes which are simultaneously dream-like and solitary. Joanis states, ‘Much of what I end up painting is often a hybrid of what I have seen during my waking life and what images flash through my mind as I fall asleep.’ Combining textures of foods, fabrics, and the prolific landscapes surrounding him, Joanis’ paintings are surreal amalgamations of his time spent isolating in Alberta, Canada.

Jon joanis close up

Emulative of a textile work, Joanis’ dream landscape appears as a patchwork of colours, patterns and textures. In the saturated landscape, streams of violet run across puddles of green, while the rosy sky is flooded with golden beams which ascend from a burning black sun, bursting out of the top of the canvas. The scene is utopian and vivid in colour, calling to mind images of the man-made Salvation Mountain in the Californian Desert.

Joanis’ so-called ‘hybid’ landscape presents a sort of limbo-state, in which the stars accompany a blue-black sun in the sky. Describing his newfound scenery as ‘shocking and comforting’, Study for Solstice with Two Trees (2021) presents us with a similar juxtaposition. Dancing between reality and dream, night and day, the painting is an uncanny representation of life over the pandemic, described by Joanis as ‘a time, like for many, that was entirely unscripted, unplanned and almost entirely improvised.’

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Jon Joanis

B. Canada 1969

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B. Canada 1969


Jon Joanis’ works focus on an exploration of surface and colour. Joanis recreates scenes from memory as well as visions from his imagination. Most recently, he has been working on a smaller scale, creating richly textured works that blend expressive tones with abstracted forms.

Joanis was born in Montreal, Canada in 1969. His work has been exhibited in the US and Australia and has been published in numerous publications.

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