We are delighted to announce ICA Miami's acquisition of Rachel Jones, A Sliced Tooth (2020) for their permanent collection.
Rachel Jones has developed a deeply personal approach to abstraction, centred around an exploration of her own identity in relation to society’s readings of the black body throughout history. Jones’s paintings are informed by 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. The figure is notably abstracted in her works, as the artist is interested in ‘using motifs and colour as a way to communicate ideas about the interiority of black bodies and their lived experience’.
In her paintings, Jones grapples with the challenges of finding visual means to convey abstract, existential concepts. In depicting the psychological truths of being and the emotions these engender, she uses abstraction as a way of expressing the intangible. The artist repeats motifs and symbols across her series to create associative, even familial, relationships between them, underscoring their kinship as part of her ongoing investigation of identity. In recent works, Jones uses the abstracted forms of mouths and teeth to indicate a symbolic and literal entry point to the interior and the self. These oral forms emerge and recede from view, suggesting a vivid inner landscape.
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
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, Director, Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) Miami
Museum Purchase with funds provided by Helen Kent-Nicoll and Edward J. Nicoll and Barbara Z. Herzberg.