ALLEN JONES British, b. 1937

Overview

Allen Jones studied painting and print making at Hornsey College of Art, London, from 1955 to 1959 and at the Royal College of Art, where fellow students included Peter Phillips, David Hockney and R.B. Kitaj. Jones was included in the seminal 1961 “Young Contemporaries” exhibition, credited with launching the British Pop Art movement. He moved to New York in 1964, where he began developing his signature erotic aesthetic.

 

Jones’s work is characterised by its overtly sexual imagery; in traditional male and female power dynamics, fetishes and BDSM practices. His erotic fibreglass sculptures such as Hatstand, Table, and Chair, 1970,—three furniture pieces constructed out of female BDSM mannequins and made famous by their reference in Stanley Kubrick’s 1971 film A Clockwork Orange, were met with strong protests for their perceived misogyny. Whether Jones’s work is celebrating or critiquing is left up to the viewer, with Jones ultimately left successful in his aim to offend and provoke.

 

Jones’s later work gives way to a more nuanced depiction of sexuality; colourfully kitsch scenes explore ideas of cross-dressing, of the dominate female and the submissive male through movement and dance.

 

Aside from the numerous pop art surveys, considered one of the fathers of British Pop, Jones has had many solo exhibitions including at Royal Academy of Arts, London (2014, 2007) and Kunsthalle Tübingen, Germany (2012). In ALLEN JONES 1979 a touring retrospective opened at Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool and toured to Serpentine Gallery, London, Sunderland Museum and Art Gallery, Staatliche Kunsthalle, Baden-Baden and Kunsthalle, Bielefeld.

 

His work is held by numerous museum collections including the Tate, London, National Portrait Gallery, London, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, Museum of Modern Art, New York and Nagaoka Museum, Japan. Allen Jones lives and works in London.

Works