Allen Jones

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Allen Jones, born on 1 September 1937, is a British pop artist best known for his paintings, sculptures, and lithography. He was awarded the Prix des Jeunes Artistes at the 1963 Paris Biennale. He is a Senior Academician at the Royal Academy of Arts.

Jones has taught at the Hochschule für bildende Künste Hamburg, the University of South Florida, the University of California, the Banff Center School of Fine Arts in Canada, and the Berlin University of the Arts. His works reside in a number of collections; including the Tate, the Museum Ludwig, the Warwick Arts Centre and the Hirshhorn Museum. His best known work Hatstand, Table and Chair, involving fibreglass “fetish” mannequins, debuted to protests in 1970.

Allen Jones’ words on his art :

For my generation anyone who wanted to cut the mustard had to reckon with Abstract Expressionism…. I’ve never wanted to show the struggle involved in the making of the work, and to make it part of the painting the way it is with Pollock or de Kooning. That’s just not me; constitutionally I couldn’t abandon the figure. But I had to find a new way of doing it. Abstract Expressionism had swept everything away. You couldn’t go back to representing the figure through some moribund visual language.

Andrew Lambirth’s words on Allen Jones’ art at the occasion of  “Kaleidoscope” exhibition at Galerie Frank Pages :

The art of Allen Jones is an extended meditation on the roles we play. How do we situate ourselves in the world? What constitutes personality? Jones catalogues the ways in which people deal with the threat of extinction: strategies for survival in the mad dance of life, with the chance of some fun along the way.

This is no detached scientific analysis, but a vibrant dialogue, full of wit and humour. Allen Jones is fortunate in his versatility, able to turn with equal skill from oil painting to sculpture, then back to watercolour, print-making or drawing. The variousness of medium does not undermine the impact of his work, for the consistency of his aims and subject provides an essential continuity.

And in a very real sense, we (the audience) make his meaning. Jones likes to tease his viewers visually, as well as thematically. The line created by the edge of a steel plate will – in the active process of describing a shape – move around a sculpture, appearing almost disembodied, before transforming into a plane, which in turn will box-in a form with suggested volume, before moving out into a line again.

It’s as if the artist practises sleight-of-hand, yet the effects are optical, not intentionally deceptive. As Jones himself says, the work “moves in and out of statement.

Selected works