J.C. Fontanive investigates expanded forms of drawing that reflect his ongoing interest in the logic of nature. Elements of drawing – line, shape, color – have in past work come together in varied media; moving images, moving objects, interactive works, and still works that randomize and mix to make systems of their own.
In, The Ones After The Physical Ones, his first exhibition of paintings, the shapes within the canvas are imagined physical shapes that would behave like actual objects. They are painted as if someone were repairing their driveway with a trowel and concrete. The edge quality of each shape is formed by the physical material spreading out over the surface.
In most of the paintings there is a structure of objects held together very loosely, almost about to fall apart. The structures are made up of imagined objects that balance and hold together in various ways, respecting the laws of nature or physics - gravity, friction, etc, the process or guiding force being the 3-dimensional. Fontanive’s previous three-dimensional work - often in the form of machines - also relate to the language of the physical world and how objects behave in it. Not only in a literal way within the process of how the works are made, but also as a metaphor for how we as humans relate to our world and society. The painted structures then are built in the same way, but unlike machines, the forms are seemingly at the edge of chaos. This creates a combination of two opposing forces: structure, and free-form irreverence. Or, in other words, the archetypal struggle between the man-made and the natural.
J. C. Fontanive earned a BA from Syracuse University and an MFA from the Royal College of Art in London. He was the 2018 recipient of the Brooke and Hap Stein Emerging Artist Prize, Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville, and was shortlisted for the 2010 Jerwood Painting Prize. Exhibitions since 2014 include: the Museum of Contemporary Art, Jacksonville, FL (2017); the Reinstitute, Baltimore, MD (2017); the Nassau Museum of Art, New York, NY (2017); Museum Meermanno, The Hague, Netherlands (2017); New York Center for Book Arts, New York, NY (2017); Moscow University Apothecarie's Garden, Moscow, Russia (2016); La Frontiera, Paris, France (2016); Danese/Corey Gallery, New York, NY (2016); Dedee Shattuck Gallery, Westport, MA (2016); Carbono Galeria, São Paulo, Brazil (2015); The Central Bank of Brazil, Rio de Janeiro (2015); Biennale Internationale Design Saint-Etienne, France (2015); Savernack Street Gallery, San Francisco, CA (2014); and Riflemaker Gallery, London, UK (2017, 2014). His studio is located in Bushwick, NY.