CONRAD JON GODLY
Demiurge of the Mountains
TO SEE IS NOT TO SPEAK #20, 2018 Oil on Canvas. 150 x 200 cm
Conrad Jon Godly is one of the most important contemporary artists
and not only because of the extraordinary quality of his work but also because of
something unexpected, he implements a new way of making realism in painting.
The secret of Godly’s seduction lies in his ability to evoke the theme. His mountain creations are not an intellectual but a spiritual product that manifests abruptly through powerful brushstrokes, charged with gestures, an intention that comes from the deepest part of his soul connected to the nature of the mountain. Godly does not paint mountains, he is the mountain.
TO SEE IS NOT TO SPEAK #4, 2018 Oil on Canvas. 170 x 140 cm
TO SEE IS NOT TO SPEAK #1, 2018 Oil on Canvas. 150 x 130 cm
TO SEE IS NOT TO SPEAK #16, 2018 Oil on Canvas. 200 x 250 cm
TO SEE IS NOT TO SPEAK #10, 2018 Oil on Canvas. 170 x 200 cm
He paints with thick impasto that are like mountain matter
There is something magical about the impasto of his painting because they are capable of suggesting the textures as if they were painted in detail, but no, in reality they are enormous abstract brushstrokes that read in the whole painting achieve an insurmountable realism. In the distance, the painting is a precise representation of the image of a mountain, but approaching the canvas there is only accumulation of matter.
Detail of Impasto
This precision in the gestural treatment of his brushstrokes connects with the mastery of Japanese calligraphy, “shodo”, and Zen painting. Certainly these are disciplines to which Godly is very close as he has lived for seasons in Japan, which he considers his second home.
Godly loves the mountain and the mountain loves him
Born in 1962, Godly grew up in Davos, among the mountains of the Swiss Alps. After a period of 14 years as a professional photographer that led him to work all over Europe, he felt the irresistible call of his mountains and now lives among them, painting them.
His intense walks through the nature that surrounds him have served to interiorize a spirit of the mountain that has taken hold of him. The mountain exerts on Godly a tyranny that forces him to paint it again and again, but always different.
The mountain expresses itself through its painting and represents itself in all its grandiose facets. Godly’s work is like the mountain, sometimes serene, sometimes bucolic, but his painting of overwhelming beauty cannot hide the enormous power that the mountains possess.
Godly’s palette is extremely austere, only white, blue, black and green, with only these four colours he achieves a splendid range of intermediate tones that perfectly express the character of the theme.
2013 Oil on Canvas. 150 x 120 cm
2013 Oil on Canvas. 200 x 350 cm
TO SEE IS NOT TO SPEAK #22, 2018 Oil on Canvas. 170 x 140 cm
“I don’t see myself as a landscape
painter, I am interested in capturing the mood and feeling of light, or the eflection of the moon on snow.”
Conrad Jon Godly
in his studio in Switzerland
TO SEE IS NOT TO SPEAK #19, 2018 Oil on Canvas. 150 x 200 cm
TO SEE IS NOT TO SPEAK #25, 2018 Oil on Canvas. 230 x 320 cm
TO SEE IS NOT TO SPEAK #21, 2018 Oil on Canvas. 170 x 140 cm
2015 Oil on Canvas. 110 x 90 cm
TO SEE IS NOT TO SPEAK #23, 2018 Oil on Canvas. 230 x 200 cm
Godly masterfully captures the atmosphere of the moment and the mood of the mountain and creates an authentic immersion of the viewer in the painting. With minimal pictorial resources and a great spirituality he has created a different way of making realism in painting.
Godly’s study in Switzerland with his dog “Rascal”, was the perfect companion for long walks in the mountains.
Godly’s impasto art. From abstract to realism and vice versa
Visiting a Godly exhibition is like going to a site with an infinite number of paintings, even if there are only a few.
As you get closer and closer to one of Godly’s paintings the painting transforms and offers you new faces, until it vanishes into powerful brushstrokes.
This mastery in the suggestion of forms that are not drawn is comparable only to that of the ancient masters of Zen painting and, in the West, to the work of the great English artist Joseph Mallord William Turner (1775-1851)
2012 Oil on Canvas. 25 x 35 cm
Detail of impasto
2014 Oil on Canvas. 50 x 65 cm
Detail of impasto
2019 TO SEE IN NOT TO SPEAK, London
JD Malat Gallery,
2018 DARK IS LIGHT, Kyoto, Japan
2017 ART TAIPEI, Taiwan
2016 ART STAGE SINGAPORE, Singapore
2016 INSIDE, Kyoto, Tokyo, Japan
2015 KIAF ( Korean International Art Fair ) Seoul
2015 TEN YEARS AFTER, Zurich
Tony Wuethrich Gallery
2014 BETWEEN HEAVEN AND EARTH
Kyoto, Tokyo and Fukuoka, Japan
Paintings for Japan
2013 MOUNTAIN, Zurich
Tony Wuethrich Gallery
1986 Graduated Basel / School of Art / Masterclass of Painting
1986-1987 Stay in the USA, first photographic works
1988-2004 Photographic work for international magazines and advertising
2008-2009 Lives and works in Vienna, Austria
2016 New studio in Japan
2018 Honored by the oldest Zen Temple Kyoto’s, the Ryosokuin-Kenninji