In Jamie Townsend’s paintings, a dense network of shapes and forms comes together in pictures that are inspired by Abstract Expressionism and Cubism, but which take that inspiration to another level. Moving from still lifes to rural scenes and vivid dreamscapes, the artist uses the language of abstraction to construct a world with a strong physical presence. Working in oils and making effective use of a palette of rich, opaque colors, Townsend gives each element of his pictures life and motion, using separate blocks of tone to create surprisingly realistic effects of light, shadow, and depth.
While his images teem with objects and activity, the artist’s sense of line and composition ensures that each painting has an underlying harmony and clarity. Applying one color to the canvas at a time, he gives his works a look that often recalls mosaics or tapestries, and the narrative dimension those genres can carry with them. “As I paint,” he says, “my work unfolds into a story.” By telling those stories, the artist initiates a challenging and rewarding conversation with his viewers.