Nevertheless: Conrad Jon Godly Paints Swiss Alps
If it seems that visceral, textural paintings have been a recurring theme lately, maybe because isolation whets the appetite for the tactile, for things really wake the senses. While “look, don’t touch” holds true for the paintings of Conrad Jon Godly, their very weight and luminescence guarantee a gripping experience. Currently on view through January 9, 2021 at JD Malat Gallery in London, the solo exhibition revisits a literal mountain range of awesome Swiss landscapes.
For years, a successful commercial and fashion photographer, able to capture a striking mood of the moment, Godly came to realize his true inspiration, reflecting that “The beauty of nature is unsurpassable. Nature is the essence, the source, and the inspiration to create.” After traveling throughout the world for commercial assignments, the Davos-born artist had only to look through the window of his studio at the terror, beauty, and majesty of the mighty peaks and rills to know that their evanescence would provide limitless possibilities. "Yes, he has painted many mountains before, nevertheless, not one is the same, and this show presents a refined and powerful rendition of these phenomenal gifts of nature."
As the world went into lockdown, confined to his home/studio, Godly could observe his muses in the distance and paint them uninterrupted without interruption. In those everlasting pillars, he perceived strength and stability during times of uncertainty, capturing the emotional relationship between man and earthforms. To portray such a relationship he created a whole new body of work that incorporates the emotion of abstraction and the storyline of representation, Fascinated with the spatial possibilities of oils, his paintings burst into the physical space of the gallery regardless of their size. Through the ever-changing appearance of nature, the artist conveys our own experiences in a series of small studies and large-scale works on canvas. Through time of day, epoch, weather and atmospheric force, the mountains persist and change, just as we do. Godley has painted these moments, and we hope he doesn’t stop. —Sasha Bogojev