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Jonathan Faber
at Champion, Austin, Texas
Recommendation by Katy Crocker

Jonathan Faber, "Scully b," 2011, oil on canvas, 32 1/4 x 42 1/2"

Continuing through December 22, 2011

Log cabins, pine trees, abandoned boat docks, and supernatural light might initially seem like hackneyed imagery. However, Jonathan Faber’s paintings that loosely reconstruct such subjects from memory manage to stay afloat. Faber’s emotive brushwork, disorienting figure-ground relationships, jumbled compositions and bizarre color palettes render these landscapes surprising. Like memories, Faber’s canvases are disjointed and indefinite — the paint appears to have been hurriedly applied as if to divest the artist of his memory before it permanently escapes him. Many of the works in “Idle” represent time the artist spent in Johnson, Vermont, wandering wooded areas.
With its childlike qualities, Faber’s work might best be compared to that of Philip Guston. Guston’s feverish brushwork migrated from Abstract Expressionism to a distinctly acid expressionism. Similarly, Faber negotiates both expressionism and abstraction in this body of work. However, the paintings in “Idle” provide enough hard edges to be considered representational. Cues from the composition, i.e. depth with a clear background and foreground, communicate to the viewer that they are looking at some thing — a printer, or perhaps a toaster. Faber deflects objective resolution. It is this lack of resolution that intrigues one to look longer, searching for answers that are stuck between obscured possibilities — therefore, idling.

Champion - Closed 2012

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