abstract art

Jon Pestoni

United States 1969

Abstract Art

Jon Pestoni
Jon Pestoni
United States
April 5, 2015

Jon Pestoni is an American abstract painter, who has, through unifying abstract forms over a variety of ground materials and techniques, developed complementary methods that result in layered, petrified paint. Pestoni was born in 1969 in St. Helena, California. He graduated with a BA degree at the University of California, Berkeley in 1992, and got his MFA in 1996 at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Painting as a Process of Self-Examination

Jon Pestoni’s paintings each layer several compositional orders and methodologies – geometric forms, figuration, graphic art, and Abstract Expressionism – such that they become inextricable and perhaps even contradict one another. His work is an investigation of painting’s ongoing ability to accommodate the widest possible variety of ideas on emotional, psychological, and philosophical levels. His practice is predicated on the experience of abstract painting’s basic elements – color, gesture, scale, and surface. The resulting work might accommodate such various marks as drips, splatters, thickly applied paint, and dry brush strokes, all in varying degrees of transparency. Pestoni’s works not only engage with the tradition and conventions of painting, but also with the idea of an artist’s unique hand, and the thin boundaries between failure and completion. “I don’t necessarily know how to finish a painting except by repeatedly trying to,” Pestoni has said. “I try to introduce problems into my practice.”

abstract art
Jon Pestoni – Windshield – 2014

The Use of New and Uncommon Materials in Pestoni’s Works

As his work has evolved over the last few years, Pestoni has introduced new materials, varied formats, and more dramatic shifts in scale to his repertoire of moves. In addition to medium- and large-scale canvases, his practice now include new mixed-media paintings on paper mounted to aluminum. These works provide the viewer with an intimate sense of how Pestoni gets from one compositional idea to another, and how a given idea, once subjected to his process, can emerge in two or more drastically different ways.

The paintings on paper are made in series, on the floor, so that they can accommodate gestures usually associated with much larger works. Layering is rendered visible by virtue of transparency, but also through sheer accumulation of material. Like many of Pestoni’s newest paintings, works on paper feature the use of cat litter, which creates optical static and gives them a prickly, tactile immediacy that generates unexpected connections between the deckled edge of the paper and the textures applied to its surface. The artist forces what might otherwise be considered separate layers of paint to fuse with one another as the picture’s background crumbles into foreground, disrupting the eye’s ability to establish narratives about how a composition is made.

contemporary art, abstract art
Jon Pestoni – Cargo (detail) – 2013

Recent Exhibitions of Jon Pestoni’s Art

Jon Pestoni’s paintings were recently the subject of solo and two-person exhibitions at Eleni Koroneou Gallery, Athens (with Alex Hubbard) and at the Shane Campbell Gallery, Chicago in 2014; and Real Fine Arts, Brooklyn in 2013. Recent group exhibitions featuring Pestoni’s work include The Outlanders, The Pit, Los Angeles and Day-For-Night Nuit Américaine, Office Baroque, Brussels in 2014; Abstraction (sound and vision), Todd Madigan Gallery, California State University, Bakersfield and Alone Together, Rubell Family Collection, Miami in 2013, among others.

Jon Pestoni lives and works in Los Angeles.

YearExhibition TitleGallery/MuseumSolo/Group
2015Jon PestoniDavid Kordansky Gallery, Los Angeles, CASolo
2014Alex Hubbard, Jon PestoniEleni Koroneou Gallery, Athens, GreeceSolo
2014Jon PestoniShane Campbell Gallery, Chicago, ILSolo
2014Another Cats Show365 Mission, Los Angeles, CAGroup
2014The OutlandersThe Pit, Los Angeles, CAGroup
2014Day-For-Night Nuit AméricaineOffice Baroque, Brussels, BelgiumGroup
2014The MotormanRichard Telles Fine Art, Los Angeles, CAGroup
2013Jon PestoniReal Fine Arts, Brooklyn, NYSolo
2013Jon PestoniShane Campbell Gallery, Chicago, ILSolo
2013Abstraction (sound and vision)Todd Madigan Gallery, California State University Bakersfield, Bakersfield, CAGroup
2013Group ShowFederica Schiavo Gallery, Rome, ItalyGroup
2013Alone TogetherRubell Family Collection, Miami, FLGroup
2012Jon PestoniDavid Kordansky Gallery, Los Angeles, CASolo
2012DrawingsShane Campbell Gallery, Oak Park, ILSolo
2012The Friendly Summer Painting ShowEllen de Bruijne Projects, Amsterdam, The NetherlandsGroup
2012Context MessageZach Feuer Gallery, New York, NYGroup
2012Real Simple - selections from the collection of Martin and Rebecca EisenbergRiverview School, East Sandwich, MAGroup
2011Jon PestoniLisa Cooley, New York, NYSolo
2011Real Simple - selections from the collection of Martin and Rebecca EisenbergRiverview School, East Sandwich, MAGroup
2011StirringsNieuw Dakota, Amsterdam, The NetherlandsGroup
2011Six PackRichard Telles Fine Art, Los Angeles, CAGroup
2010Alex Hubbard, Jon PestoniShane Campbell Gallery, Chicago, ILSolo
2010DrawingShane Campbell Gallery, Chicago, ILGroup
2010The PursuerGreene Naftali, New York, NYGroup
2010MaTaxter and Spengemann, New York, NYGroup
2010Ann Craven, Peter Halley, Jon Pestoni - Painting Panel Exhibition in Conjunction with the College Art AssociationShane Campbell Gallery, Chicago, ILGroup
2009Jon Pestoni and Zak PrekopLisa Cooley, New York, NYSolo
2009Alex Hubbard, Charlemagne Palestine, Anthony Pearson, Jon PestoniChina Art Objects Galleries, Los Angeles, CAGroup
20091999China Art Objects Galleries, Los Angeles, CAGroup
2008Looking BackWhite Columns Annual, New York, NYGroup
2008Call the Interruptions DaysLeo Koenig Gallery, New York, NYGroup
2005Apocalypse SoonQED Gallery, Los Angeles, CAGroup
2004Seeing Other PeopleMarianne Boesky Gallery, New York, NYGroup
2004Include Me OutKevin Bruk Gallery, Miami, FLGroup
2004North RoomDerek Eller Gallery, New York, NYGroup
2003Works on PaperDerek Eller Gallery, New York, NYGroup
1999Vasquez Sarkisian Pestoni Lattu Hughes870 Virgil, Los Angeles, CAGroup
1999Life In Space, Three Day WeekendCalifornia College of Arts and Crafts, San Francisco, CAGroup
1998Hughes Lattu Pestoni Sarkisian870 Virgil, Los Angeles, CAGroup
1997Malibu Sex PartyPurple Gallery, Los Angeles, CAGroup
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