As part of the Brancaster Chronicles studio visit series, Hilde Skilton, Mark Skilton, Anne Smart, Anthony Smart, John Pollard, Alexandra Harley, Nick Moore, Robin Greenwood, Sarah Greenwood, Noela James visit the studio of painter Patrick Jones. Painters' Table interviewed Jones in 2012.
Mark Skilton, Hilde Skilton, John Bunker, Nick Moore, Sam Cornish, Robin Greenwood, Sarah Greenwood, Anne Smart, Anthony Smart, Ben Wiedel- Kaufmann, Noela James, and Emyr Williams visit the studio of painter Patrick Jones.
Jones introduces the work noting that "the paintings, to me, are to do with the fact that I work very, very thinly, on bare canvas. I don’t prime them at all, and I work with stained, thin acrylic paint ... I’ve always used acrylic, and I was brought up with it and I like it. It’s inert, and it’s not something I have to mess about with a lot to get it to do what I want. But that’s what I see the problem with the painting as being. Trying to work with virtually nothing on the canvas until the weave is filled, and then it changes. It’s a technical problem; it’s how to keep a painting varied and lively and interesting on that surface... it’s HOW to paint is the most difficult problem."
John Bunker, Anthony Smart, Anne Smart, Robin Greenwood, Sarah Greenwood, Alexandra Harley, Patrick Jones, Sam Cornish, Mark Skilton, Hilde Skilton, and Nick Moore visit the studio of painter Emyr Williams.
Alexandra Harley: The "passage of colour isn’t just pure. It may be a pure colour all the way through but the juxtapositions of the other colours around it are changing that colour immensely."
Anne Smart: "I know [Williams' paintings] are going to be about colour, but If I try to forget that, what comes out really strongly is how they make me feel… and I’m minded to think of a painting that relates to both of them: Monet’s 1860 “Women the Garden”, and what that does for me, and what I have always felt strongly about, is the light in it; and both these paintings articulate what light does, and I feel a strong presence of that light and what that sensation can give you spatially."
Robin Greenwood: "The elements in the painting are so much more demanding than one stripe next to another. I feel I’ve seen that sort of thing before – you know, beautifully coloured stripes… but here, I’ve never seen anything quite like this before."
John Yau reviews the exhibition Patrick Jones: Survey at Hillsboro Fine Art, Dublin, Ireland, on view through July 16, 2013.
Yau writes that the show "ended up whetting my curiosity more than satisfying it, especially as it became clear to me that the exhibition was not about to offer anything near a comprehensive view of Jones’ achievement, much less his recurring interests. But perhaps curiosity rather than satisfaction is — rather perversely — the best to take leave of any artist. Nevertheless, I came away from the exhibition with what I am sure is a skewed understanding of Jones’ work. His mastery of the various process associated with Color Field and stain painting is apparent from this sampling of works, as is his command of the gesture and vocabulary we associate with the Abstract Expressionists, particularly Jackson Pollock’s drips and Adolph Gottlieb’s signs. A range of this kind would overwhelm many artists — and this certainly could be one reason why, in the face of such heavy precedents, parody and citation became the go-to modes of production. Jones, however, never became ironic. He wanted to take all this history on and find a way to make something that is his own. In that sense, he is a modernist rather than a postmodernist."
Curator Nick Moore writes about the Intimate Abstraction, and exhibition of works by John Bunker, John Eaves, Patrick Jones, Frank Bowling, at The Searchers Contemporary, Bristol, on view through April 5, 2013.
Moore notes: "The title of this exhibition derives partly from the size of the gallery and the choice of smaller works to include in it, but more importantly from the layers of meaning in the word intimate. Intimacy is usually thought of as the feeling of being in a close personal association, a belonging together; a familiar and very close felt connection with another. Genuine intimacy requires dialogue, transparency, vulnerability and reciprocity. The adjective, 'intimate' also indicates detailed knowledge and experience of the other, be it a person or a thing. And so the working processes of the painter with the depth of knowledge and experience of the material they use, have experimented with, investigated and tested through a long relationship (possibly thirty or forty years). This can result in a connection in which there is an emotional range involving both robust conflict, and intense loyalty to the medium being used, a dynamic partnership in which there is give and take. It is this sense of connection with the process that initially drew me to these four painters and the richness of the particular way paint is extended through the inclusion of other materials."
Nick Moore reviews the recent exhibition Pure Colour, paintings by Patrick Jones at Gloss-Art, Exeter.
Moore writes: "Walking through the rooms in this show was like having access to the thoughts, feelings and process of the painter; there were themes, variations, series and one-off experiments and it is rare to see this openness in an exhibition... one was hit the vitality of Jones’ process as an artist... The No Parasan format has served as a vehicle for Jones’ lively improvisation and experimentation through the intuitive application of colour, layering differing applications of paint onto the canvas. The variations allow for ongoing exploration of a theme, indeed of painting, in a meaningful way. One immediately notices that there is an upward slant to the structure as the middle band lifts up to the left, reflecting the kind of tectonic, emotional upheaval that goes into the paintings."
If there’s one thing the 21st century is teaching us, it’s that the act of painting is far more generative than 20th century end-game modernism predicted. This is certainly the case in the paintings of Patrick Jones. Over the course of a long career, Jones has developed a rich visual language and applied his rigorous, abstract process to a wide range of interests from Dogon carvings to political injustice. In his recent work, Jones’ poured and stained canvases have absorbed the space, light, and color of his coastal surroundings.
I recently had the opportunity to correspond with Jones about his career and recent paintings. He has been kind enough to share with Painters’ Table his thoughts on painting and images of his work in advance of a retrospective exhibition, Celebrating Abstraction, which will be on view June 7 - 14, 2012 at the Appledore Festival. What follows is a reflection on Jones’ work punctuated by Jones’ own observations.
Patrick Jones, Mindscape, 2012, acrylic and yacht varnish on canvas (courtesy of the artist)
Edited by artist Brett Baker, Painters' Table highlights writing from the painting blogosphere as it is published and serves as a platform for exploring blogs that focus primarily on the subject of painting.