JONATHAN WAHL’s work ranges from sculpture to the decorative arts. His work has been featured or reviewed in publications as diverse as the New York Times, Art in America, The New Yorker, Oprah Magazine, W Jewelry, the Philadelphia Inquirer, Metalsmith magazine, Harper’s Bazaar and the Advocate among others. Wahl has been awarded the Louis Comfort Tiffany Emerging Artist Fellowship from the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation, two New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowships one for Craft and one for Drawing and the Pennsylvania Society of Goldsmiths Award for “Outstanding Achievement.” He was also featured in the PBS series Craft In America which aired in 2009. Wahl’s work is in the permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Houston Museum of Fine Arts of Art and The Museum of Art and Design in New York. His current body of work, The Jet Drawings, was recently featured in “Day Job” at The Drawing Center, New York.
‘In my current body of work, a series of ten, 40″ x 50″ charcoal drawings of Victorian jet mourning jewelry, I am interested in scale and perception. I am intrigued with how the viewer relates to or perceive these historical objects of jewelry when rendered larger than life, out of scale, and how this shift from three dimensions to two parallels a rift between jewelry and fine art. The jet jewelry and objects that were the models for my drawings were made during the mid to late 19th century carved by hand from jet, a fossilized material similar to coal but more durable. They were worn during a woman’s period of mourning after the death of a loved one when wearing conventional precious jewelry would have been deemed inappropriate.’