Jonathan Lasker, ‘S-147’, 2011, CalArts Benefit

In his more than 30-year career, Lasker has never stopped discovering new territory for abstract painting, building his oeuvre around bold gestures, lively squiggles, and thick impastoes. “I often think of my paintings as a form of image kit or perhaps as jigsaw puzzles, which offer components of paintings as clues pointing the viewer,” he says.

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About Jonathan Lasker

In his more than 30-year career, Jonathan Lasker continues to discover new territory for abstract painting. The big, bold brushstrokes, lively squiggles, and bright colors in Lasker’s work seem to reveal an exuberant, playful approach to abstraction, but the paintings are anything but spontaneous. Working from small, meticulous studies to create what appear at first glance to be whimsical, offhand doodles, Lasker combines references to painters like Phillip Guston, Robert Ryman and Jackson Pollock with graffiti and cartoon imagery, investigating the various qualities of painting itself. “The problem concerns how much of the picture a viewer can receive and still be aware of the painting as a literal object,” he says. Titles like Margin For Error (2009), The Rules of the Game (2010), and Assertive Absence (1999) suggest that the questions Lasker struggles with on the canvas can also be read as analogies for everyday experience.

American, b. 1948, Jersey City, New Jersey, based in New York, New York