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.
A sense of mystery pervades this new series by John Monks. These paintings are intended to suggest a dual existence between solidity and the ethereal. The mirror catching the light in the room, and the open doorway, can be seen as a portal to another reality. The object reflected in the glass of the window at night, is a dark twin to its partner. 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.