New Complete Essays, 1984-2019
by Jonathan Lasker
EP 30: JONATHAN LASKER’s NEW COMPLETE ESSAYS, 1984-2019 provides us with an important historical document about the development of American abstract painting during the course of over three decades. Besides analyzing the work of Piet Mondrian, Willem de Kooning, Eugène Leroy, Leon Kossoff, and the critic Clement Greenberg, Lasker discusses abstract painting’s relationship to violence, media, kitsch, politics, intentionality, beauty, consciousness and mortality. The artist explores “the unhappy marriages of the biomorphic and the decorative, the mark of the loaded brush and the geometric, the psyche and popular culture,” daring to engage fiercely the limits of abstract painting in the context of meaning, metaphor, and even the metaphysical as it relates to the human condition, leaving behind blemishes, mouths agape, unexpected revelations, and uncompromised along with cherished sentiments. Lasker writes: “I have underlined my intellectual personality in these essays to show that although I am not a philosopher I seek the truth of my desires, even if they go beyond provable reason.”
JONATHAN LASKER was born in Jersey City, N.J., in 1948. He attended the School of Visual Arts, N.Y., and the California Institute of the Arts, Valencia, Ca. Since 1981, he has exhibited with such galleries as Tibor de Nagy, Michael Werner, Lars Bohman), Thaddaeus Ropac, Sperone Westwater, Cheim and Read, Thomas Schulte, L.A. Louver, and Timothy Taylor. He had retrospectives at Kunsthalle Bielefield, the Stedelijk Museum (Amsterdam), Kunstmuseum (St. Gallen), The Power Plant (Toronto), Birmingham Museum of Art (Alabama), Reina Sofia (Madrid), Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen (Düssel-dorf). His paintings have been exhibited at the Corcoran in Washington, D.C. and Documenta IX in Kassel. He received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts in 1987 and 1989. Lasker’s work is in the Mudam Luxembourg Modern Art Museum, the Hirshhorn, L.A. County Museum, Moderna Museet (Stockholm), Museum Ludwig (Cologne), and the Whitney Museum of American Art. NEW COMPLETE ESSAYS, 1984-2019 comprises his second book with Edgewise Press.
First edition paperback, January 2020, pp. 288, sewn, bound and printed in Italy, with a two-color cover, a black and while photograph of the author on the frontispiece, and a portfolio of 24 color illustrations.
Jonathan Lasker’s NEW COMPLETE ESSAYS, 1984-2019 is edited, and with an introduction and commentary, by Richard Milazzo.