Oh No Never Let The Spirit Die Exhibition: 4 – 24 August 2020
And you follow the road
And you get you back home.
Oh, no, never let spirit die
Oh, no, spirit don’t ever die…
Van Morrison, ‘Spirit’
It’s easy to imagine J.S. (John) Parker in his Blenheim studio energetically laying down paint with his trusty palette knife while the music of Van Morrison (‘Spirit’ is from his 1980 album Common One) blasts through the speakers. It is three years since Parker died (1944-2017) but his rare spirit lives on in these robustly lyrical paintings from the last decades of his career.
It is no accident that Plainsongs – the title with which Parker identified most of his later paintings – has a musical origin since music of all kinds – rock, jazz, blues, folk, classical – frequently accompanied his practice. His paintings resemble ‘Plainsong’ – medieval liturgical music chanted in unaccompanied unison – in their frequent repetition of a few basic forms: rectangles, squares, straight lines, while avoiding monotony through a myriad different colours. Many of his subtitles also have musical connotations.
Pictured image: Plainsong: Duality – Blue/Ochre, Oil on canvas, 1200 x 800 mm, Signed & dated 2010