House Gallery is pleased to present Cosmos, a investigation of time, space, singularity
and togetherness by New York based artist Jon Coffelt. Coffelt’s rhythmic paintings
radiate outwards from a central mark, a sort of timeless void, that puts them in motion.
They act as distilled fractions of infinity—each image is just one, innermost moment in a
process that could continue eternally.
Loosely based on Coffelt’s exploration of Black Hole Theory, the Cosmos paintings
experiment with the idea of indefinable space. They become miniature realms in which
loss of control is required of both maker and viewer; appreciating them fully means
relinquishing the rational human attachment to linearity, resisting the urge to categorize,
and getting lost in the circular motion. Each entity, or mark, in Coffelt’s painting exists
independently yet still defines itself in relation to the others around it. Singularity and
togetherness thus become co-dependent.
The paintings’ titles come from the names of the paints Coffelt used to make them—this
means a painting could have as flamboyant a title as “Florescent Pink Cosmos on Citrus
Field,” or one as meditative as “Black Cosmos on Exposed Wood Field.” In choosing his
palette, Coffelt often gravitates toward contrasting colors, but he is also constantly
searching for the color combination that won’t work, that will fail to create a calming
space and grind his series to a halt. So far, he’s found no such combination and the series
could, perhaps, go on indefinitely.
More than anything, Cosmos is an attempt to grapple with time: spending it, wasting it,
surrendering yourself to it. Each painting is the direct result of hours in the studio spent
living with the marks on panel, and a painting’s ultimate mood directly reflects the time it
took to produce. Ultimately, the work in Cosmos invites viewers to spend time as well,
surrendering themselves to the space of meditation.