Picture of the Week: Untitled by Jonathan Rajewski

July 9, 2023

Untitled, Jonathan Rajewski, 2013, mixed media, 87 x 70 x 1 1/4 in.

Jonathan Rajewski is an artist based in Detroit. He earned his BA in Philosophy in 2009 from Michigan State University and his MFA in Painting and Printmaking in 2021 from Yale University. Rajewski is the recipient of many notable awards, including a Critical Practice Research Grant from the Yale School of Art in 2020, a residency at the Elaine de Kooning House in East Hampton, NY in 2017, the Kresge Fellow in Visual Art from the Kresge Foundation, the Knight Arts Foundation Grant for Hamtramck Free School, and Knight Arts People’s Choice Award for Hamtramck Free School, all in 2015. Over the years, his work has been featured in a mix of solo and group exhibitions throughout the country, including galleries in Michigan, New York, Florida, and California. 

Rajewski often works with found objects when creating his paintings and sculptures. This can be attributed to his artistic influences, including Tyree Guyton’s Heidelberg Project and the Cass Corridor art movement. Rajewski’s use of found objects allows him to create highly textured, visually rich artwork. This is evident in his 2013 untitled mixed media painting. He utilizes muted tones of red, orange, yellow, green, and blue paint. The paint swirls across the surface in abstract forms. Rajewski draws further attention to these forms with the texture of his painted surface. Numerous layers of horizontal lines stretch across the surface, creating the appearance of cardboard. To add, the red paint around the edges of the work, paired with the texture of the surface, create the illusion of a brick wall. Perhaps Rajewski’s choice of muted colors is meant to highlight the texture of the work. This is an innovative departure from the traditional paintings of previous periods, which often focused on the actual images, as opposed to the materiality and textures of the surfaces themselves.  

Written by Angela Athnasios




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