Jonathan Dalton, The Onions’ Porcelain Skin, 2019. Oil on linen, 176 x 214cm. Courtesy: the artist and Nanda\Hobbs, Sydney.
Jonathan Dalton, for all his technical expertise, is a painter of ideas who is not worried that an audience might find meanings and messages in his work. A student of philosophy before he took up painting, he delights in visual puzzles that careless viewers might not even notice. It takes a moment’s study to realise there is a red glass bauble from a Christmas tree included in a bowl of bright red tomatoes, or a yellow billiard ball slipped into a bowl of lemons. The natural is pitted against the artificial, setting up a host of questions. We expect a billiard ball or a Christmas ornament to be perfectly round and smooth, but if a piece of fruit partakes of the same geometrical perfection it feels disturbing – as if we are witnessing at the results of genetic modification.
Exhibition opens 6–8pm Thursday 21 November 2019