Images from 2016 / 2017. Click here to read about them (links to an essay on another website).


From 2017, on the theme of particle collisions, following a conversation with Paul Soler. All are watercolour/ink/crayon on paper. Click here to read more (link an essay on another website).


Works from 2016. Click here to read about them (links to an essay on another website).


From 2016. Painted for a show at Aktionsradius, Vienna. All are oil on board, 40cm square

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
Source: Hubblesite.org


(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.


Aktionsradius, Vienna

In May 2016 Jonathan Meuli will be exhibiting at the Aktionsradius in Vienna.
The show will be based round 12 new abstract paintings designed for the space.

Frierike Mayröcker's poems: cover illustration from a drawing by Linde WaberThere will also be one of his Friederike Mayröcker series … The background: a few years ago I saw the illustration on the cover of a book of poems by Friederike Mayröcker. The drawing is of Mayröcker’s studio in Vienna, by Linde Waber.

I found it such an interesting drawing that I emailed Linde out of the blue and went to Vienna to meet her. She welcomed me open-heartedly. It was this connection that led me to title a recent group of paintings with texts after Friederike Mayröcker. I have used poetry either in my paintings or as titles for paintings from around 2000, so this group of Mayröcker paintings was a memory, made in Glasgow, of my visit to Linde in Vienna.

All the Mayröcker paintings are titled either from Mayröcker poems or with phrases from an interview with Mayröcker in PN Review. By an irony (poetry is the most ephemeral of the arts) most of the Mayröcker paintings, after they were finished and titled, turned out to be ephemeral as well. They use fugitive pigments – fluorescent ones, and they are doomed to fade, some of them almost completely. (This wasn’t intentional: the pigments were marketed as having good permanence and light-fastness, but I have done light tests which show that they are completely fugitive). They can’t be repainted – and so they sit in darkness, protected from the light which will kill them.

Perhaps, though, they are better like this. Perhaps the fugitive nature of these paintings matches with the fugitive nature of poetry in a way which binds art and poetry together more closely than they ever could have been otherwise. Should I remodel them and and exhibit them as concept pieces? … make boxes for them, with wooden doors, which you would have to open to see the painting, and which, when closed, would protect them from the light which will destroy them … I had made frames for most of the paintings that are themselves all individually designed. The board on which the little painting “The void never fills” is sitting is an old drawing board of my mother, who has finally ceased to use it herself as very old age and arthritis have taken away her ability to draw. She was born in the same year as Mayröcker.


Titles: from Friederieke Mayröcker’s Raving Language – (trans. Richard Dove, Carcanet) or phrases from an interview with Mayröcker in PN Review (no. 221)