John Monks has been described as one of the most important artists working in Britain today. He is known as one of the most committed and inspired figurative painters of his generation. Painting with a titanic vigour, Monks is fascinated by the transformation of paint into light and form on the canvas.
John Monks’ archetypal subject matter is of architectural spaces, usually interiors or inanimate objects whose forms are constructed by rhythmic rays of light that sweep over floorboards and reflect off mirrors and wall panels. Light and the colour white play a key role in the creation of tangible forms in John Monks’ work. The paintings challenge the viewer to look anew at the familiar and the commonplace. Through a range of painterly processes – pouring the paint, glazing the surface in layers and scraping with a palette knife – Monks weaves and layers surfaces to imbue his subjects with a built-in history, implying atmosphere, life and change in seemingly inanimate and immutable objects and scenes.
John Monks studied at Liverpool School of Art and the RCA, 1977 – 80. He was represented by Peter Findlay Gallery in New York. His work is in the collections of: The Metropolitan Museum, Yale Centre for British Art, CAS, Arts Council of Great Britain, The V&A, Manchester City Art Galleries and Santa Barbara Museum, California. John Monks has been exhibiting with Long & Ryle since 2002.