The Narrows - Installation View 1
The Narrows - Installation View 2
The Narrows - Installation View 4
The Narrows - Installation View 5
The Narrows - Installation View 5 - Detail

Jonathan Callan’s (b. 1961, UK) work has for many years been preoccupied with the nature of information and language. Although using printed matter and imagery gathered from a variety of different places, his primary material comes mainly from books.

Patrick Heide Contemporary Art was pleased to collaborate and present Jonathan Callan’s first solo exhibition at the gallery entitled The Narrows.

The Narrows - Callan’s first solo exhibition in London in 19 years presents a body of work, making connections between the experience of artists’ progressive hearing loss and the profound readjustment the artist sees taking place within Western culture as it comes to terms with its relative decline in a world being remade.

Change and realignment are evidenced in almost every work, whether in terms of things being removed: in the piece Elysium, where an imagined Western idyll is reduced to a fragile visual net. Or a work being shown in progress, Ten Thousand Western Sunsets, where images of sunsets are sanded away from book pages and re-compiled as phials of dust, to the musical pieces where Callan tries to find visual analogues for his progressive deafness. Manuscripts of famous British composers are dissected and then rewound as paper albums. Pieces with musical notation are reimagined and re-written in silicone rubber or redrawn with monumental additions. The cover of the book that Callan used in learning how to play the guitar, something he can no longer do, is photographed spinning at 78rpm on the studio wall. The exhibition makes connections between that which is irreducibly personal and the wider experiences of history. The Narrows is an attempt to employ advancing deafness for the revisualisation of sounds and to bestow a Western world in decline a disintegrating pictorial language.

His work is included in major museum collections including The Museum of Modern Art, New York, The British Museum, London, The Henry Moore Institute, Leeds, UK, South London Gallery, London, Whitworth Gallery, Manchester, UK, The British Council, The Ferens Art Gallery, Hull, The High Museum Atlanta, GA, The West Collection, Pennsylvania, The Leopold Hörsch Museum Düren, Germany, Princeton University Art Museum, New York, Progressive Art Collection ’Ohio and JP Morgan Chase Bank, New York.