Rachel Jones; A Focus in Painting at Thaddaeus Ropac London Ely House (2020)

A Focus on Painting Rachel Jones

12 September—21 October 2020
London Ely House

12 September – 21 October 2020

A Focus on Painting

Curated by Julia Peyton-Jones

There has been a recent upsurge of exhibitions focusing on artists for whom painting is their preferred medium and this show presents the work of four painters, both established and emerging, who explore the medium in different ways. With materials ranging from yarn to newsprint to poured colour, the processes these artists use and the forms of their final works are compellingly diverse. Mandy El-Sayegh and Rachel Jones explore what appears to be abstraction, however at its core is an investigation of the human body and the formation of identity, while Alvaro Barrington and Dona Nelson play with form and materials not usually associated with painting.

Rachel Jones (b. 1991, London, UK) completed her Masters Degree at the Royal Academy of Arts last year and was awarded the André Dunoyer de Segonzac Hon RA Prize before exhibiting alongside Gillian Ayres and Nao Matsunaga at the New Art Centre, Salisbury (September – November 2019). Jones has held residencies at both The Chinati Foundation, Marfa, Texas in 2019 and the Masterworks Museum of Bermuda Art, Bermuda in 2016.

Jones will present a series of new paintings that explore the complexities of society’s readings of the black body – how it is understood, how it is culturally reproduced, and the potential role of these representations in dismantling existing power structures. Jones's presentation will include a number of large-scale hanging pieces alongside smaller works on unstretched canvas and paper pinned to the wall.

Jones is interested in creating images that explore the Black Interior, the depth of her own interiority, and how as a black woman, it consists of an autonomous, imaginary, and multiplicitous experience. Jones applies a form of critical interpretation to the language of painting in her work, reconsidering both traditional and contemporary approaches to colour and form. In response to these approaches, she explores self-expression as a bodily, visual and visceral experience. Jones is interested in eliminating a literal depiction of self, instead focusing on a sense of self in relation to the sovereignty of her inner life and the expression of this through a kaleidoscopic palette and boldness of form.

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