Variations on Rhythm P
Raymond Jonson ( American, 1891 - 1982 )
Deeply influenced by such visionary painters as Wassily Kandinsky, Marsden Hartley, and Arthur Dove, Jonson sought throughout his career to express the spiritual qualities underlying material appearances. Jonson moved the New Mexico in 1924, where, for the next several decades, he conveyed the sensations engendered by his environment in progressively more abstract form and color, making him something of a "lone wolf" among the more representational painters of Taos and Santa Fe. After several difficult years in New Mexico, Jonson experienced in 1929 a sort of spiritual epiphany which ultimately led him to abandon objective sources for his art. Beginning in the 1930s, his work became more serial in nature as he explored and improvised on certain themes. "Variations on Rhythm P" is one of 26 canvases based on the alphabet. The various curvilinear, stepped, and geometric forms play rhythmically on the letter P, establishing a multilayered space which, in fact, is not intended to represent a physical environment, but rather to express a visual equivalent of this interplay of rhythms.