The exhibition, 'Johan Pilgrim and the Cave of Wonders', forms the second part in a trilogy. The first part, 'The Book of Lenny', was exhibited at Art Palace in Austin Texas in 2007.
Drawing is the basis of Jonathan Marshall's artistic practice, but not its only product. He works across video, animation, photo-collage, installation and sculpture to produce series' of work that combine to produce narrative worlds.
In this exhibition, Marshall explores the capabilities of drawing as a narrative tool and its possibilities for crossover into the digital (animated) world. Visual references include the sublime in 19th century art; country and western and science fiction movies; and comics and Saturday morning cartoons. Also evident, is the visual impact of the Wyoming landscape in which much of this recent body of work was produced.
Marshall often depicts isolated figures engaged within epic landscapes. In 'Johan Pilgrim and the Cave of Wonders' the narrative centres on a character who is brought down to a great depth in order to discover his true calling. Like 'The Book of Lenny', the stage is set after a storm of global proportions has eased the demise of most of civilization. A decade following this demise, several wanderers are called to participate in humanities last great adventure.
The work fits within a Native American and Anglo-American folklore tradition of the 'Vision Quest', and has also been inspired by stories such as Jonah and the Whale, 'Pilgrim's Progress', 'The Wind Up Bird Chronicles' by Haruki Murakami and Sergio Leone's 'Dollars' Trilogy.
The gallery becomes the site for experiencing the story as it unfolds through series of drawings, photo-collage and animation. The exhibition raises questions about the contemporary relevance of narrative art and its place within contemporary fine art practice.