Stone landscapes

By Dr. Justinus Maria Calleen for Uwe Jonas

“Stone landscapes"

Uwe Jonas’ abstract stone objects captivate the observer. Manipulating a mesmerizingly deft interplay of material, colour, form, volume, rhythm and space, his art is truly multifaceted. His materials of choice are the wire cables used to configure the stones, the weight-bearing steel frames and the unpolished Austrian marble. Though potentially little more than dull slabs reminiscent of grey paving stones, through deliberate choice and suitable treatment the single stone pieces reveal a variety of forms, colours and volumes. The compositional kaleidoscope encompasses self-assured cubes with relatively regular edges at one end of the scale and diffident, crumbling fragmentary scraps and small perforated discs at the other end.

Jonas sees himself more as a painter than a sculptor. His focus is less on the physical mass and three dimensionality of the works and more on the surface effects – the play of light and shade, colour hues and tones.

As multiple influences pervade this work no one allegorical, symbolic or determined contextual theme can define his sculptures, objects or installations. With the subtle aura and subliminal theurgy suffusing the work no single artistic or linguistic code can capture its essence. This work is about the interaction between the single component and the complete structure, the discrete fragment within the overall geometrical form as well as the dialogue between natural and industrially fabricated material. Rest and contemplation aligned with clarity, simplicity and sublimity distinguish the works.
In the sense of the “Concrete Art”, as it was defined for the first time by Theo von Doesburg in 1924, the works of Jonas accentuate the autonomous character of his artistic approach to work and thought. Accordingly they are not to be contextually considered through restrictive retrospective lenses which define them as merely tangible representations. Geometrical and constructive configuration schemes shape the work which consciously renounces set conventions in favour of free associations. In an enticing manner it also wades into the sensory stimulus accentuated "Op art" school with our ocular desire to discover the visual. This art does not invite one to decipher its secrets. Rather one should simply allow the sensory stimuli to be overwhelmed. And thus it seems that with his stone landscapes Uwe Jonas wants to challenge the rational, left brain way of perceiving and sensitise such people to the meditative charm of the hidden natural forces as witnessed in Asian philosophy.

© 2009 Dr. M.A. Justinus Maria Calleen