Jonah Koppel’s oil paintings contain an unbelievable depth that arrives from another place. The artist’s process is largely unplanned and his imagery is procured solely from the imagination. On view are works that were originally intended to travel ashore—from Chicago, where Koppel is based, to Italy—and their transit was foremost on the artist’s mind as he configured this new suite of small works. Once the panels were prepared, Italy began to seep through into their imagery as well. In one, a Pegasus from Greco-Roman mythology is present; and the sun face, a Sicilian symbol, appears in another. Each painting carries with it this mythological charge—peering through woods, an evil eye stares back, light ripples against a body of water, and celestial orbs hover overhead. Coming together, the group presents relationships that are undeniably shared and sensed, even while certain parts seem to remain veiled or just beyond the frame. So as to keep this potential meaning as connected as possible to the viewer’s arrival, the works remain untitled. Koppel finished the paintings by framing them, as if receptacles for all that moves within. Through this gesture, they also come to contain a sense of indestructibility, like jewels. And while they never made their original journey, the works here evoke a miniature stage set connected to unknown physical and metaphysical journeys.
Jonah Koppel was born 1978 in Chicago, where he lives and works. Koppel received his BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) in 2001. Solo exhibitions include Klaus von Nichtssagend Gallery and Rivington Arms in New York and M. LeBlanc, Chicago. He has presented work at Rivington Arms, Janet Kurnatowski Gallery, and Gavin Brown Enterprises at Passerby.
Jonah Koppel, Metaphysical Paintings appears courtesy of M. LeBlanc, Chicago.
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