Image: Rachel Jones
Artists' News

Rachel Jones

29 May 2021

Chisenhale Gallery Commissions 2022-2023

Chisenhale Gallery have announced Rachel Jones as one of the artists for their 2022-2023 Commissions Programme.

Located in a dynamic and creative residential neighbourhood in the heart of London’s East End, where many cultures converge, Chisenhale Gallery is an evolving space for experimentation, transformed by each artist’s commission.

Early exhibitions at Chisenhale Gallery included solo presentations by Chisenhale Studios artists and influential group shows including Yellow Peril: New World Asians and Essential Black Art, which featured artists Rasheed Araeen, Sonia Boyce and Mona Hatoum, among others. In the 1990s, the gallery produced the first solo exhibitions in the UK with Lubaina Himid, Rachel Whiteread, Cornelia Parker, and Wolfgang Tillmans. The gallery has commissioned major new works by artists including Faisal Abdu’Allah and David Adjaye, Anthea Hamilton, Hito Steyerl, Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, Ed Atkins, Helen Marten, and Camille Henrot. Most recently, Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Ima-Abasi Okon and Imran Perretta have all produced critically acclaimed commissions with Chisenhale Gallery. 

Chisenhale Gallery is a registered charity, part of Arts Council England’s National Portfolio.

About Rachel Jones

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.

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