I first visited Havana in November 2016, a few days after Fidel Castro died, and just under a year before Hurricane Irma hit Cuba in September 2017. Since then, much has changed, including the hand-painted signs that punctuate the journey from the airport to the city centre, which today do not celebrate the revolution so much as the 'Unidad y...
The exhibition Beyond Boundaries at Somerset House in London (12 March–2 April 2019) marked the historic contributions of the Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing (CAFA) and the Slade School of Fine Art, University College London, on the occasion of their 100th and 150th anniversaries, respectively. Spread across several rooms of Somerset House's...
The National 2019: New Australian Art features work by 70 contemporary Australia-based artists split across three venues: the Art Gallery of New South Wales (AGNSW), Carriageworks, and the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA) (29 March–21 July 2019), as curated by Isobel Parker Philip, curator of photographs at AGNSW; Daniel Mudie Cunningham,...
Kim Jones born in 1944 in San Bernardino (US), lives and works in New York (US)
More then thirty years Jones has been working on a consistent oeuvre of drawings, sculptures and performances. War drawings, rat sculptures, combat vehicles and performances as his alter ego Mudman: they all have their origin in the experiences of the young Jones. Not only his participation as a soldier in the Vietnam War plays a significant role in his work, also the illness that kept him in a wheelchair between the age of seven and ten. During this period Jones developed a whole private world in his head. Today we can still find some parts of this magical world in his work.
At the age of ten Jones made his first war drawing – he still has some from 1957-1958 – after he was inspired by the typical war games he played with his friend in the garden. The labyrinth games where you find the treasure by going through the maze with your pencil are another inspiration for Jones and make him draw scenes without any perspective. In the beginning the works were just a game Jones played for himself with pencil and eraser, but since the eighties they are a main part of his oeuvre.
The war sometimes goes on at other drawings and bodies. A series of magazine fashion photos Jones found in 1983 in the trash somewhere on 6th Avenue in New York City serve as an undertone for wars and mutations. Young men and women change in skeletons, androgynous figures and organisms. The works have several different dates, because Jones continues to work on them over the years. Limbs are extended and adapted, faces hided and backgrounds made into even more strange creatures.
The same iconography appears on the black and white drawings: people in combat, fantastic figures and studies for Mudman. Mudman was born mid seventies when Jones covered himself with sticks and mud and appeared on the streets. These performances are an important source for the other works, where the recycling of materials and motifs, as well as reworking of drawings, installations and performances is the main theme.
Kim Jones's work has been featured in significant group exhibitions, including the 17th Sidney Biennale, The Third Mind: American Artists Contemplate Asia, Guggenheim Museum, New York, the 52nd Venice Biennial, Disparities & Deformations: Our Grotesque, Site Santa Fe, Out of Actions: Between Performance and the Object, Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles and Mapping at the Museum of Modern Art, New York amongst others.
Kim Jones: A Retrospective chronicles over thirty years of the artist's performances, drawings and sculpture and was organized by the UB Art Gallery, The State University of New York, Buffalo, and the Luck man Fine Arts Complex, California State University, Los Angeles. Work by the artist is held in major museum collections, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, the Museum of Modern Art, New York and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles.
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