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Nostalgia Of Distance

John Atherton’s latest exhibition at The Nordic Art Agency, Nostalgia of Distance presents a series of formal abstract works that are unequivocally in the tradition of modern abstract art. At first sight, they are to be appreciated entirely in the realm of pure visual abstraction and the pleasures of viewing carefully composed colour and form.  

However, counter-intuitively to this tradition, Atherton’s work emerges not from the lineage of abstract art but from that of portraiture through the commemorative representations found in the yearbook. 

Historically a distant landscape depicted in a portrait painting informs the viewer of a sense of nostalgic contemplation in the sitter. It is with this in mind that Atherton suggests a perceptual shift, that his abstract works could be interpreted by the viewer as a scene through a picture frame window. The nostalgic contemplations of the sitter are inventions conceived by the viewer, as they unravel the abstract ambiguity of the work.


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