Image: Rachel Jones Joins the Gallery
Portrait by Eva Herzog
Artists' News

Rachel Jones Joins the Gallery

29 October 2020

Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac is delighted to announce that Rachel Jones is joining the gallery. The artist's work was recently included in the group exhibition A Focus on Painting, curated by Julia Peyton-Jones at the London gallery, and her first solo exhibition will be held in the London gallery in Autumn 2021. 


Jones is a bold, intuitive artist who uses oil stick and oil pastel to make intensely felt paintings that draw attention to a world of surfaces and appearances and an inner realm of feelings and sensations. She has a distinct, private language that communicates through colour, layering and a visual lexicon that hovers in between the concrete and the enigmatic. Her paintings betray a wisdom beyond her years and we are so proud that she has joined the gallery. 

– Thaddaeus Ropac

Rachel Jones represents a significant new voice in abstraction. We are honored that ICA Miami is the first US museum to acquire Jones's work, and look forward to continuing to engage with her exciting studio practice.

– Alex Gartenfeld, Artistic Director, Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami (ICA Miami), 2020
 

Rachel Jones explores the possibilities of representation in painting and sculpture with a specific focus on colour and form. She has developed a deeply personal approach to abstraction, exploring self-expression as a bodily, visual and visceral experience and grappling with the challenges of using visual means to convey internal or existential concepts. 

A kaleidoscopic palette, boldness of competing forms and interplay of textures creates a rich tension throughout the artist's work. She has described her paintings as comprising an ‘exegesis of colour’, dominated by fiery reds, fleshy pinks and acid yellows set against the counterbalancing coolness of blues and greens. 


I try to use colour to describe black bodies. I want to translate all that lust for self-expression into a language that exists outside of words, and instead relates to seeing and feeling with your eyes.

– Rachel Jones
 

Jones’s paintings are centred around an exploration of her identity in relation to society’s readings of the black body throughout history. Informing this is her research into the depiction of black figures in the arts from the eighteenth century to the present – how they are understood and culturally reproduced, and the potential role of these representations in dismantling existing power structures. She employs abstraction as a way of expressing the intangible, ‘using motifs and colour as a way to communicate ideas about the interiority of black bodies and their lived experience’. 

By repeating motifs and symbols across her series, Jones creates associative, even familial, relationships between them, underscoring their kinship as part of her investigation of identity. In recent works, she uses the abstracted forms of mouths and teeth to indicate a symbolic and literal entry point to the interior and the self. The same critical eye that she turns upon questions of cultural identity and selfhood is applied to the language of painting itself, in works that reconsider both traditional and contemporary approaches to colour and form. 

 

Watch Artist Interview



As part of the gallery's programme of events for Frieze London 2020, Jones appeared alongside Alvaro Barrington, Mandy El-Sayegh and Dona Nelson for a panel discussion on 'Painting Today', moderated by Julia Peyton-Jones. Watch the conversation here.

 

Biography

Rachel Jones (b. 1991, London, UK) lives and works in London. Jones joined the gallery following her inclusion in the group exhibition A Focus on Painting (2020), curated by Julia Peyton-Jones. She completed her MA at the Royal Academy Schools, London, in 2019. The same year, her work was exhibited alongside Gillian Ayres and Nao Matsunaga at the New Art Centre, Salisbury, and in a solo show following her residency at The Chinati Foundation, Marfa, Texas. She has also exhibited at the Royal Academy of Arts, London (2019 and 2018); Fleming Collection, London (2014); and Royal Scottish Academy, Edinburgh (2013). Jones was awarded the André Dunoyer de Segonzac Hon RA Prize in 2019 and the Machin Foundation Painting Prize in 2018, as well as a residency at the Masterworks Museum of Bermuda Art in 2016.

A Slow Teething, 2020. © Rachel Jones. Photo: Eva Herzog.

A Slow Teething, 2020. © Rachel Jones. Photo: Eva Herzog.

A Slow Teething, 2020. © Rachel Jones. Photo: Eva Herzog.

A Slow Teething, 2020. © Rachel Jones. Photo: Eva Herzog.

A Sliced Tooth, 2020. © Rachel Jones. Photo: Eva Herzog.

A Sliced Tooth, 2020. © Rachel Jones. Photo: Eva Herzog.

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