Jonathan Wateridge (*1972) is one of the leading figurative painters of his generation whose work explores the hidden influence of the photographic and filmic image in our day-today lives. A student of the Glasgow School of Art in the early 1990s where he studied painting and pursued an interest in film, his engagement with a realistic aesthetic began in 2005 with a series of disaster paintings that depicted shipwrecks and plane crashes in hyper-realistic landscape settings.
The current ‘Colony’ series, being presented in Berlin, continues the artist’s on-going interest in the language of photography and film and its transferral into the visceral reality of paint.
Showing a collection of 16 new canvasses alongside a selected group of works from his ‘Monument’ paintings from last year, Wateridge takes as his starting point the non-descript setting of new-build apartments populated by twenty-somethings living their lives out in the centre of an Ikea heaven. We see one young woman crouching on the sofa as if she is engaged in a Skype call while others have the abstract gaze of the computer screen; a young man stretches his body in preparation for exercise or pulls his jumper over his head.
Yet what is also apparent in these remarkable paintings is a new engagement with the surface of the canvas in a manner that reconfigures the blandness of everyday existence into the fluidcertainty of paint.