OPENING RECEPTION: 1ST THURSDAY, DECEMBER 1, 2012, FROM 5 - 8PM
Sullivan Goss – An American Gallery presents the fourth solo exhibition for American Tonalist, Jon Francis. In his newest exhibition, JON FRANCIS: Paintings from the Drive Home, Susan Bush has curated a collection of his characteristically warm, vintage inspired paintings. Jon Francis is a contemporary painter with an old world feel who captures the simple beauty of American life in a timeless, classic style. From the gleaming chrome of an airstream parked in tall grasses, to the bold ultramarine paint on a suped-up Thunderbird, these quotidian monuments are Jon Francis’ representation of a fading American past.
Francis’ works reflect an interest in capturing the places and things of an earlier and simpler time, yet all are present day scenes. In a fast-paced, digitally-driven world, it’s hard to take a moment and relish in the quiet beauty of our shared American memory. He builds upon the artistic sensibilities of the great Northern California Tonalist painters of the early twentieth century like Arthur Mathews and Gottardo Piazzoni by imbuing his subjects with suggestions of poetic reverie and quiet optimism. At the same time, Francis utilizes a vocabulary of visual elements that look forward to more modernist impulses--the combination of past and present resulting in his characteristic timeless style.
Francis’ paintings recall an era of unabashed American greatness, an easily romanticized era when car culture was king. Mom-n-Pop diners, pastoral farmlands, the steep hills of San Francisco: classic American imagery, but there’s more to his work than mere nostalgia. Each painting in this exhibition depicts an empty car as the main subject - a subject that wants a narrative that can only be supplied by the viewer. Does that old Ford remind you of the night you first kissed with the AM radio humming in the background, or the time you went to the diner after the big game? These autos take us to the days when the air smelled sweeter and the colors were brighter and everyone dressed in style. Memory looms large in these paintings; a shared memory of our collective American dream, right here in the present.
1:54 | Susan Bush