Approaches to Abstraction

Exhibition at Wolfson College, Cambridge

19 January to 17 March 2019

Open to the public on Saturdays and Sundays
15.00-17.00 in the Combination Room

Wolfson College, Barton Road,
Cambridge CB3 9BB

Admission free

An exhibition of work from the 1980s to the present, tracing the development of abstraction in my work. Curated by Phillip Lindley. A catalogue is available: click here for details.

Wolfson College Fine Arts


RE:SEARCH at the Glasgow Science Festival 2018

6th June to 6th July 2018

RE:SEARCH – a conversation between Art and Science is an exhibition by painters Jonathan Meuli and John Robertson and ceramicist Jonathan Wade. All three artists are near neighbours in the WASPS Hanson Street Studios in Glasgow. The show will run in two Wasps gallery venues: The Briggait, (141 Bridgegate, Glasgow G1 5HZ) and South Block, (60-64 Osborne Street, Glasgow G1 5QH). During the Science Festival there will be a complementary series of events – a play workshop, and talks and discussion sessions featuring contributions by the artists and by Professors Paul Soler and Aidan Robson of the University of Glasgow and CERN.

Full details are at the Glasgow Science Festival website where you can also book (all events are free).

You can click here to download the RE SEARCH web brochure and events list

I think it will be a really interesting show. John Robertson has produced some magnificent large scale works in acrylic: highly expressive motifs and gestures are thrown down onto the paper or board and almost endlessly repeated and varied, but always retain their shape. They represent Energy itself – in different states – and also the attempts of the artist to locate himself as viewer of what he himself is performing (and so cannot view?).

Jonathan Wade is also producing new large scale ceramic pieces specifically for the show – investigating deep texture, materiality on this and other worlds, and  ideas of permanence, transience, coincidence and intervention. The arrival of an exploratory space mission on Comet Comet 67P / Churyumov-Gerasimenko becomes, for this show, a respository of symbolic meaning about the interaction of the natural and the created.

Jonathan Meuli has been working for the last four years on large abstract pieces which have a metaphorical connection with contemporary scientific research. His latest piece, The Great Wave, 3 was finished in April. None of his pieces in this exhibition have been shown before.

Click here to read a longer essay on Art and Science in relation to Jonathan Meuli’s painting and see some more images



More like a lens than a frame

It is more interesting to think of the form of my recent paintings as that of a lens rather than as a frame. This is how I think of it, now: as a lens like the gravitational lenses photographed in the distant universe by the Hubble telescope. Without the central part the outer part simply would not be visible at all. Both affect the other. If you haven’t seen the Hubble gravitational lens images, I recommend them.
Jonathan Meuli-2016-14_


Die quadratische Form ist aus den früheren seriell-geordnete Bilder und Zeichnungen, wie ich sie seit langem gemacht habe, natürlich und zwangsläufig entstanden. Zuerst dachte ich der äußere Teil wäre eine Art Rahmen (wie Howard Hodgkin) – aber jetzt ist das ganz anders und gleichzeitig wichtiger geworden. Jetzt erkenne ich, dass die äußeren und inneren Teile beide zentral sind! Beide wollen im selben Moment das Zentrum bilden, den Mittelpunkt besetzen, obwohl das nicht möglich erscheint. Also sollten wir nicht mehr an Rahmen denken, sondern an Linsen: der innere Teil ist eine Linse geworden, mit der man den äußeren Teil erst sehen kann. Wie bei den wunderschönen Gravitationslinsen vom Hubble Weltraumteleskop, sieht man die eine Sache ohne die Andere nicht. Form und Farbe sind nicht sichtbar, aber sie bringen anderen Formen und Farben ans Tageslicht, die sonst immer im Dunkel bleiben würden.

Gravitational Lens Captures Image of Primeval Galaxy


(taken from the News release at the Hubble website)

“This Hubble Space Telescope image shows several blue, loop-shaped objects that actually are multiple images of the same galaxy. They have been duplicated by the gravitational lens of the cluster of yellow, elliptical and spiral galaxies – called 0024+1654 – near the photograph’s center. The gravitational lens is produced by the cluster’s tremendous gravitational field that bends light to magnify, brighten and distort the image of a more distant object. How distorted the image becomes and how many copies are made depends on the alignment between the foreground cluster and the more distant galaxy, which is behind the cluster.

In this photograph, light from the distant galaxy bends as it passes through the cluster, dividing the galaxy into five separate images. One image is near the center of the photograph; the others are at 6, 7, 8, and 2 o’clock. The light also has distorted the galaxy’s image from a normal spiral shape into a more arc-shaped object. Astronomers are certain the blue-shaped objects are copies of the same galaxy because the shapes are similar. The cluster is 5 billion light-years away in the constellation Pisces, and the blue-shaped galaxy is about 2 times farther away.

Though the gravitational light-bending process is not new, Hubble’s high resolution image reveals structures within the blue-shaped galaxy that astronomers have never seen before. Some of the structures are as small as 300 light-years across. The bits of white imbedded in the blue galaxy represent young stars; the dark core inside the ring is dust, the material used to make stars. This information, together with the blue color and unusual “lumpy” appearance, suggests a young, star-making galaxy.

The picture was taken October 14, 1994 with the Wide Field Planetary Camera-2. Separate exposures in blue and red wavelengths were taken to construct this color picture.”

Here are some April 2016 experiments with a round form – more obviously Universal.