Cultivate Presents Jonathan Monaghan Unworld: Landscapes of The New Romanticism

By Editorial Team on September 27, 2021
Thomas Cole, The Voyage of Life Youth, 1842 (National Gallery of Art)
Artist Talk: Tuesday, September 28 at 7pm

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Join Cultivate for a virtual conversation with artist Jonathan Monaghan who explores the tension and potential of the digital landscape/environment to shape culture, identity, and to raise critical awareness. “Digital technology is the key player in a remarkable new liberating and empowering landscape,” says Monaghan, “one that is segmented, hyper-everything, and horizontal. Artists are increasingly using digital technology to send their viewers into unique, imaginative and fantastical landscapes.” Sharing examples of his fantastical pieces that uncover subconscious anxieties associated with technology and consumerism along with the work of other peer artists working in the digital terrain, Monaghan poses several questions. Are digital artists responding to the increasing corporatization and uniformity of the lived environment, compounded with the increased presence of virtual spaces in day-to-day lives? Does their reaction signal a type of Romanticism that is both an embrace and assertion over digital surroundings?

Monaghan contends that these New Romantics share the acute criticality and the almost delusional idealism of their nineteenth century counterparts, but they maintain a much more nuanced and elevated relationship to societal trends and emerging technology. They are configuring new territories, not shying away from them. “On this frontier,” says Monaghan, “artists have more to say, more ways to say it, and our audience is easier to find.”

About Jonathan Monaghan:  Jonathan Monaghan is an artist working across a range of media, including prints, sculpture and computer animated video, to produce otherworldly objects and narratives. Drawing on wide-ranging sources, such as historical artworks and science fiction, his fantastical pieces uncover subconscious anxieties associated with technology and consumerism. Past exhibitions include The Sundance Film Festival, The Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg, and The Palais de Tokyo in Paris. His work has been featured in several media outlets including The New York Times, Vogue, and The Washington Post. His work sits in numerous public and private collections including The Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art and the Washington D.C. Art Bank Collection.

About CULTIVATECultivate is an evolving collection of interdisciplinary artists, writers, and researchers driven by investigations of landscape, place, and the commons. Projects include experimental and practical art explorations that wrestle with the qualities, perceptions, and layers of experience that inform and expand notions of landscape. Ideas from a full spectrum of voices across generations are supported using sustainable tactics. From the hyper-local to the global, Cultivate reflects individual and collective curiosity, intention, imagining, and engagement with the phenomena of landscape.