Jonathan Sobol At The Fechin Museum

Imbroglio oil_convas 48x60_1992Jonathan Sobol grew up in the mystical artist’s colony of Safed, in the Galilee, where his neighbors and early mentors were all artists.

His mother, an artist herself, introduced him to oil paints at the impossibly early age of six and he has painted ever since.

His early influences were the Fauvists, Impressionists, Russian Avant Garde, Modernists, Abstract Expressionists, Portrait painters, Sculptors, and the Classical Masters – Jonathan has never been limited in his appreciation of art in all of its manifestations and forms, and in his one man show – almost a retrospective of his work in Taos over the past thirty years – all of these influences converge, evolve and transform into work that is uniquely his own.

Portrait of Leah oil_masonite 30x24_ 1985

I met Jonathan at the Fechin Museum one morning this week and seeing the work for the second time, juxtaposed against Nicolai Fechin’s masterfully carved doors and furnishings, in what is arguably the most beautiful, historical structure in Taos, I was intrigued by how the classical tone of the artist’s early work – the portrait of his wife Leah is an example – has evolved into a myriad of forms almost like looking through a kaleidoscope.

Dark Vessel oil_canvas 30 x 28_ 2004

Jonathan’s visual interpretations of what and how he sees are in fact, in perfect time with a world that changes as quickly as the blink of an eye. Fechin’s own work danced through several genre’s and movements also; Modernist, Classical Russian and later, the pure forms of Native Art.

Jonathan had never heard of Nicolai Fechin until he attended a seminar on Portraiture by John Howard Sandens in NYC in 1980.


“On his library shelf was a book about Fechin, opening it I discovered a treasure chest.”

He was struck not only by the Russian artist’s exquisite craftsmanship but also by his “loose, emotional approach that merged seamlessly with  classical mastery.”

“If there is a line running through my painting in the past thirty years, here in Taos, it’s the attempt to find that balance in my own work,” he explains.

Attracting Butterflies 700 copy 2

Jonathan has also been a digital painter for the last fourteen years, making work on his computer and lately, his series of “Grotesques” on his iPad. 

Unrestricted by genre, he clearly enjoys the challenge of exploring all facets of visual art, and has successfully merged them all into a career spanning almost fourty years.

Sloucher copy

He has exhibited his work nationally and internationally, and in June was juried into the mDAC (mobile digital arts and creativity) show at the Palo Alto Art Center in an international competition for the top 100 digital artists. His work “Copper, Glass and Paint” was awarded second place.

In Taos, Jonathan Sobol is represented by Wilder Nightingale Fine Art, but do visit the artist’s website for more information and many more images of his unique and extraordinary work.


All images care of Jonathan Sobol

4 thoughts on “Jonathan Sobol At The Fechin Museum

  1. “Arguably the most beautiful, historical building in Taos’? Really? You must be referring to the Taos Pueblo’s iconic, legendary, unforgettable, irreplaceable central building, the only one you think of when you think of Taos, the one every visitor has in mind and on their cameras, the most historically and artistically significant with no comparison in sight. But then, that honors and acknowledges the native people for being the reason Taos exists and the, without argument, most important cultural and historical contribution to “ToaStyle” and we can’t have that.

    • I should have clarified – in the Town of Taos. If you’ve read my About Page along with the descriptions of the Catagories on my blog menu, you will see that all along I have recognized the Red Willow People as the Original and true stewards of this land. I apologize for any misunderstanding and regarding the Pueblo, I concur. That said, Nicolai Fechin left us a place of incredible beauty and craftsmanship that is a treasured part of Taos’ modern history. Thanks for taking the time to read and comment. It’s appreciated.

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