Shown is “Longing for A New Heaven” by Jon MacGregor. The oil painting on canvas measures 20 by 20. Photo provided.
Shown is “Longing for A New Heaven” by Jon MacGregor. The oil painting on canvas measures 20 by 20. Photo provided.
Atelier, a newly opened contemporary art gallery in Warsaw, will present the first solo exhibition of young painter Jon MacGregor from May 12 to July 1.

“The Subtle Thief of Youth” is a 17-piece collection of MacGregor’s quietly complex figurative paintings. The show’s title derives from John Milton’s epic poem “Paradise Lost,” which recounts Adam and Eve’s banishment from the biblical Garden of Eden.

“‘Paradise Lost’ became a slow burn inspiration for me in this body of work,” MacGregor said. “Milton created such a wonderful narrative that allows for numerous interpretations. Both in the religious context and the human condition, these themes rippled through each piece as I meditated on Milton’s storytelling.”

MacGregor said storytelling is critical to his own art, according to a news release from Atelier.

“What excites me about painting is the ability to … depict something that can be as beautiful as it can be sad,” he said. “Art is the only way that I have found to express the depths and nuances of what makes life worth living.”

MacGregor cites American painters John Singer Sargent, Edward Hopper and Mary Cassatt as major influences, along with filmmakers Wes Anderson, Agnes Varda and Sofia Coppola. He said his work is informed by the countless afternoons he spends wandering, sketching and painting in the galleries of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.

According to Atelier Director Sea Grandon, the 25-year-old MacGregor is poised for a successful career.

“Jon’s paintings are exquisitely beautiful and atmospheric renderings of everyday life,” Grandon said. “These captured memories invite the viewer to reminisce on the dreamings and longings of youth. Beauty and nostalgia are often tinged with the foreboding or ominous. I find Jon’s narrative ability and painterly virtuosity to be exceptional, and those talents, combined with his discipline as an artist and his commitment to his education, make it a true honor to present the first solo exhibition of his work.”

“The Subtle Thief of Youth: Paintings by Jon MacGregor” will open from 6 to 9 p.m. on May 12 at 104 E. Center St., Warsaw, the new home of Atelier. The show will run through July 1.

Atelier’s hours are Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Fridays and Saturdays, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.