This review, written by Rich O'Corozine, appeared in The Huguenot & Highland Herald in 1993

Point man

Jonathan Talbot charts a romantic course at Donskoj.

The collages of Jonathan Talbot, currently on view at Donskoj & Company in Kingston, are subtle adventures. They resemble, in content and style, plans made and developed by an engineer, albeit a romantic one. Filled with references to trains, sailing ships, unexpected encounters and homages to bare-breasted women and Native Americans, the selected works from 1983-1993 are clean and precisely executed. Talbof s various "Medicine Bundles" lay over maps of Indian territories. Feathers, rawhide and a bead or two hang on the horizon over Cheyenne land. They are reminders, like Georgia O'Keefe's cow skulls, that the spirit of life remains undaunted and cannot be stolen.


Detail of Jonathan Talbot's "Duet"

"Sailor's Dream" is a beautiful miniature, one of a handful that are exhibited. It resonates with Talbof s quiet flair for the romantic. A 19th-century girl stares from behind a flowered curtain, the rigging and tackles of the sails of a schooner below her. The message "PASSAGE FOR LIVERPOOL" is printed on the yard arm, and written to the side, is the word "'family."

In "Florentine Encounter/' a bare-breasted woman oversees a Fidelity Union Trust check made out to LeRoy Thrall for $5. In the back, from a page of a book, are Latin references to Tarquinia, one of the famed twelve Tuscan cities. like all collage, the most surreal of art forms, these pieces have the customary bit of mystery and obtuseness.

Three other miniatures form a kind of international triptych. "The View from Lima" concerns the peso, Ile de Triumphe" is a piece of eros and Paris, and "Of Flesh and Blood" is an homage to John F. Kennedy. All three have a disquieting effect as they seem to bleed into the other, picking up bits of reference from each neighbor.

'The Brig" is another miniature that has as its construct a small wooden jail cell containing a wooden bench and four square bundles — a $100 bill, a page of the bible, a page of Hebrew and a small painting of a farewell. Ship coordinates, fractured by the image of Karl Marx and other glimpses of violence, point to Mouse Island. A window with a sailing ship in it is on the back wall.

In many of Talbot's works, trains add to the romantic luster. "Portrait of Departure/' "Bound for Glory" and "IRT" all use the image of locomotion, and/or travel, to evoke mystery. This romantic inclination toward maps and passages is more of the 1800s, but Talbot fuels his images with a distinct 20th-century sensibility. He takes the viewer on an adventure of the spirit

— Rich O'Corozine

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