Jonathan Lasker was born in Jersey City, New Jersey, in 1948. Lasker made use of the art world's conceptual turn in the 1980s, engaging in new possibilities of painting, and so developing the abstract formal idiom that has come to characterise his oeuvre. Resisting the Lyrical Abstraction, Field Painting, Minimalist movements of the 1970s, Lasker found himself confronted with the challenge of pictorial invention. As an answer to this quest, he devised a self-referential system using a vocabulary of sign-like shapes and colours, which the artist continues to draw upon, repeat, and reformulate in his work. The formal language of his paintings is abstract, while the visual means range from simple line drawings to thick paste-like applications of paint. His work challenges traditional perspectives on the relationship between fore- and background; between figure, backdrop, and line. While Lasker originally worked with large-scale formats, he began to explore smaller compositions in the late 1980s. The small maquettes allow for precise attention to detail, which he subsequently reproduces in his large-scale paintings. This process thus turns the organic, subjective and gestural pictorial idiom of his earlier works into an increasingly intellectual process.Read More
Jonathan Lasker studied at the School of Visual Arts in New York City between 1975 and 1977, and at the California Institute of the Arts in 1977. In 2000 he was appointed Honourary Visiting Professor at The London Institute. Notable solo exhibitions include shows at the Musée d'art moderne et contemporain, Saint-Étienne (2015), K20 Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen and Museo Reina Sofía (2003), the Kunsthalle Bielefeld (1997/98), and the Stedelijk Museum (1998). Selected group exhibitions include the Neue Galerie in Kassel (2011/12), Pinakothek der Moderne (2009), MUDAM, Luxembourg (2008), Centre Georges Pompidou (2007), 'la Caixa' Foundation in Barcelona (2002), Musée d'art moderne et contemporain, St. Étienne (1997), Hayward Gallery (1994), Documenta (1992), and MoMA P.S.1 (1992). His work is included in the collections of the Birmingham Museum of Art, The British Library, the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington D.C., Daros Collection, Fond National d'Art Contemporain, 'la Caixa' Foundation, LACMA, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, MIT List Center for the Visual Arts, Moderna Museet, Museo Reina Sofía, Museum Ludwig, Cologne, New York Public Library, Sammlung Goetz, Munich, and the Whitney Museum of American Art. Jonathan Lasker lives and works in New York City.
Text courtesy Galerie Thomas Schulte.
Jonathan Lasker’s approach to painting hasn’t changed materially in decades, and so why would his work, which struck me as an alienating (if not irritating) closed system when I first started looking at it in the 1990s, now feel so open, urgent, and fresh? Lasker’s new show at Cheim & Read, his first since 2007, presents...