Jonathan Mann’s calming paintings invite the viewer to consider the beauty and serenity of the natural world. His oeuvre encompasses detailed renderings of plant and animal life as well as landscapes executed with softened brush strokes and compositional balance. Portraits of two cows gazing at the viewer marry with delightful studies of orchids and dandelion heads. A close-up rendering of cardinal perched on a tree branch offers a similar tone of tranquility as Mann’s beachscapes. Believing that the volatility of modern culture has blinded humanity to the beauty of the natural world, Mann strives to change these attitudes through his work. Utilizing acrylic paint on canvas in most of his works, Mann’s paintings demonstrate a highly realistic approach to texture, light, and color that beckon the viewer to establish their own connection with nature.
Born in Springfield, Massachusetts, Mann received his M.A. in Modern American and European Art History at The American University in Washington, D.C. He subsequently became a Professor of Art History at the Maryland Institute College of Art. In addition to teaching, Mann has spent the past 25 years constructing and maintaining a park sanctuary on his property. The sanctuary contains over 100 trees, vegetable and flower gardens, birdhouses, and sculptural installations that provide much of the inspiration for his oeuvre. Mann is also greatly influenced by the Paleolithic period, a time where both images and nature were seamlessly intertwined as fundamental elements of life and survival. Mann has received many accolades and awards throughout his career, including the The Robert Rauschenberg Foundation Award at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in 2009. In regards to his works, Mann explains: “My work is simply a focus on the world of nature which I believe many have taken for granted.”