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Some paintings by Jonathan Cole

04/11/23 - 02/12/23

This exhibition of selected works by the late Jonathan Cole is the result of discussion between Caroline Le Breton, and two friends Patrick Jones and Denise Franklin.


'We wanted to continue to show Jonathan’s work, partly because we miss him, but also because 17 years after his death we agree that his paintings still have a contemporary relevance and power. Brown Clown was one ofthe last works he completed and one that we know he was particularly pleased with. In a sense Brown Clown is a self-deprectory portrait. The character of the clown, like Watteau’s Pierrot, is being presented face-on for examination, entertainment, ridicule or pity. It is also a celebration painting and manifests how, after years of practice and repetition, each separate board can reflect the possibilities of paint applied to a particular surface consciously and with enjoyment.


Alongside some working drawings are a few examples of what he referred to as his ‘test pieces’ but which we now think of as perfectly formed and sublimely refined experiments with paint. A larger retrospective of these paintings is being planned for the future. Jonathan Cole exhibited rarely in his lifetime and had no gallery representation when he died. Our intention is to show his work again both for those who knew and admired him as a painter but also to introduce him to a wider audience.'

Caroline Le Breton 2023

Jonathan, who died in 2007 at the age of 44, studied at Ravensbourne, Hastings and Bristol Schools of Art before completing his masters at The Royal Academy Schools, London in 1989. He exhibited widely in London, Berlin, India, including the prestigious John Player Portrait Award, Ten Young Artists at the Mall Galleries and the Whitechapel. He co-founded the award winning arts organization Project Artworks with Kate Adams and his wife, the artist Caroline Le Breton and Claremont studios Jonathan was awarded several scholarships including the De Segonzac Travel Award, the Henfield Award and the David Murray Painting Scholarship. 


The paintings are for sale and all proceeds along with profits from the sale of the catalogue ‘Hocus Pocus’ will go towards the Jon Cole Memorial Fund which is to be developed into an annual painting prize in his name.

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