Ronald Clayton at Addington Gallery
Ronald Clayton's work has been a strong pillar of the gallery since the mid 90s, and with this new body of work, the artist pushes his unmistakable and unique style into exciting new territory.
Clayton's new paintings almost burst off the wall with an unbridled new energy, and yet this energy finds it's counterpoint in a contemplative, formal restraint. This restraint is based both on the underlying geometry in the work, and the artist's empathic concern for the landscape that lies, at risk, just beyond the doorways and windows of his invented constructions.
Discussing his most recent body of paintings, Clayton says:
I have recently been acting out certain illogical impulses, retaliating against the logic of previous work. Sometimes it takes the form of reaction against the logical (mathematical) systems I've based my composition on. (linear perspective, the golden mean, etc). Pushing against, wrestling with, I often find myself thrown outside the "ring, the "ring" being my conventional rectangular format. The manifestation being new constructed paintings in which the subject defines the format rather than the customary visa-versa.
Even when I choose to adhere to the discipline of the conventional rectangle, which I just as often do, there are other logical inferences about my chosen subjects - colors, textures and forms associated with industrial architecture for instance. I've recently found these associations just too restrictive and so there are, in these paintings, wild improvisations and displacements of color and texture. Well, wild for me anyway.
Things have also changed in my views of the landscape. While previously I was concerned about documenting real locations objectively and then painting them back to nature, these new views are extrapolations, hybrids, and constructs. I am allowing myself to blatantly reinvent a nature that may be "super", or at least "extra-natural."
The personal fictions present in the works of Ronald Clayton are both inspiring and challenging. Dualities are at play throughout the work: depth of space and articulated surface, the geometric and the organic, culture and nature, the familiar and the new. Clayton's two lynchpins are the biographical narrative of our experience with particular landscapes, and the imagined architectural ruins he places within them. In turn, we the viewers are placed in these ruins. We find ourselves admiring the work of the hands that created these mysterious structures, all the while longing to experience the untouched vision of nature just beyond our grasp. What a powerful metaphoric image of our ongoing search for a place in this world.
Heykuksa, 60x72, oil on canvas
Caanan, 36x34, oil on panel
Crosby, 18x29, oil on panel
Inverness, 30x32, oil on panel
Ishtar, 54X76, oil on canvas
Kish, 36x48, oil on panel
Labyrinth, 54x70, oil on canvas
Macanda, 22x27, oil on panel
Potoka, 31x36, oil on panel
Reef, oil on canvas
Tabyago, oil on canvas
Wall Street, 26x38, oil on panel
Whipshaw, 20x26, oil on panel
Zargos, 32x36, oil on panel
Albion, oil on panel
Alta Eastcastle, 42x67, oil on panel
Barbican, 32x40, oil on wood construction
2002 "THE ART OF COLLECTING", SONOMA MUSEUM OF VISUAL ART, Santa Rosa, California
1999 "DECONTEXCTUALIZING NATURE", AMERICAN ASSN. FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF SCIENCE, Washington, DC
1999 "MADE IN CHICAGO: Urbanscapes/Landscapes”, O’HARE INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT, Visiting Curator Series in Cooperation with the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs, Curator: Natalie van Straten of the Chicago Art Dealers Association
1998 “BLUE”, THE SALT LAKE ART CENTER, guest curator Will South, Salt Lake City. other artists include Hans Hofmann, Robert Motherwell, Reuben Nakian, Ed Ruscha.
1998 “RONALD CLAYTON: A Renaissance Approach to Contemporary Painting” University Of Arkansas, Fayettvillle, Arkansas
2008 "DANCING WITH REASON" ADDINGTON GALLERY, Chicago
2006-7 “WITH AN EYE TURNED INWARD” GWENDA JAY/ ADDINGTON GALLERY, Chicago
2005 “RONALD CLAYTON, NEW WORK" GWENDA JAY/ ADDINGTON GALLERY, Chicago
2003 “STRANGE INSTRUMENTS” GWENDA JAY/ ADDINGTON GALLERY, Chicago
2003 “RONALD CLAYTON” PHILLIPS GALLERY, Salt Lake City
2002 “NATURAL SELECTION” GWENDA JAY/ ADDINGTON GALLERY, Chicago
2002 “CLAYTON/ROSENBERG” Gallery V, Columbus, Ohio
2000 “THE CHOSON SERIES” PHILLIPS GALLERY, Salt Lake City
2000 “THE CHOSON SERIES” GWENDA JAY/ ADDINGTONGALLERY, Chicago
2000 “RONALD CLAYTON” Na Un Gallery, Kunsan, Korea
1998 “LANDSCAPE NOW” Gallery V, Columbus, Ohio
1997 “THE YUCATAN SERIES”, GWENDA JAY GALLERY, Chicago