This winter, Marlborough Fine Art welcomes Colour Matters, a show of new sculptures by the controversial British artist Allen Jones. The show marks a departure from Jones' highly objectified and much criticised depictions of the female form, as we saw in the major Royal Academy retrospective last year.The works on show are much more abstract and suggestive than we're used to from Jones; a rather welcome change, as far as we're concerned.
Visitors expecting to find Allen Jones’ controversial kink might be a little disappointed when they behold Let’s Dance, an exuberant aluminium sculpture that pairs with Picasso’s jagged forms with Matisse’s sense of movement in a way that feels genuinely thrilling. Beyond this opening shot, many of Jones’ new works hark back to the modernist masters, with fragmentary Perspex busts that evoke nothing so much as cubist painting. Paint sticks to Red Shoes like a lipstick smear, all in an 80s music video palette of pale blues and pinks. Elsewhere, The Blue Gymnast’s retro-futurist perfection is tellingly marred by ever-so-slightly grubby fingers, while A Model Model – based on Kate Moss – glows with a translucent sense of unreality. Shock has been sacrificed on the altar of maturity. Colour Matters may not show Jones evolving to a new voice, but it certainly shows an elder statesman refining his craft.
Allen Jones Biography
Allen Jones first established a reputation as a young talent while studying at the Royal College of Art in London, and has gone on to gain international recognition and fame, with retrospectives touring worldwide. After being expelled from the Royal College in 1964 he moved to New York, where he was seduced by the colourful, modern aesthetic of consumer goods and American advertisements. Jones's highly sexualised and objectified sculptures of women, inspired by bondage and S&M, became the ultimate fetish of a culture that sought to make everything a commodity.
Allen Jones' Notoriety
Among Jones's most well-known – and controversial – works are his “forniphiliac” sculptures of women standing or lying in positions to resemble furniture. The works divided critics when they were first shown in 1970, with some feminists strongly objecting to the obvious objectification of women. Fascinatingly the sculptures inspired the furniture of the Korova Milk Bar in Stanley Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange, in which milk is served from the nipples of the female figures.
Don't miss the chance to change your mind about a major British artist; head along to the show this winter.
|What||Allen Jones, Marlborough Fine Art|
|Where||Marlborough Fine Art, 6 Albemarle Street, London, W1S | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Bond Street (underground)|
25 Nov 15 – 23 Jan 16, Monday - Friday: 10am - 5.30pm Saturday: 10am - 4.00pm
|Website||Click here for more information|