b. 1991, United Kingdom

Rachel Jones Biography

Through bold, abstract compositions of oil stick and oil paint, Rachel Jones' sprawling canvases seek to communicate the interiority and lived experiences of Black bodies.

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Early Years

Born in London, Jones completed her BFA at The Glasgow School of Art in 2013 before receiving her MFA from London's Royal Academy of Arts in 2019.

On graduating, Jones participated in a residency at The Chinati Foundation in Marfa, Texas.

Rachel Jones Artworks

At first glance, Rachel Jones' monumental canvases appear to be chaotic, abstract compositions marked out by gestural strokes of competing oil stick and oil paint. Yet on closer inspection, vivid imagery including abstracted teeth, mouths, and floral forms emerge and recede throughout the canvas.

On the nature of her work, Ocula Advisory explains, 'it is this refusal to be resolved into any one focal point or colour scheme that gives them their beguiling and unique quality.'

Notably, Jones' monumental work, lick your teeth, they so clutch (2021), included in Hayward Gallery's Mixing it Up: Painting Today (2021) and reproduced for Harper's Bazaar's 2021 Bazaar Art cover, reveals an outline of a huge row of bared teeth amongst the kaleidoscopic composition.

Her inclusion of these motifs are 'a way to communicate ideas about the interiority of Black bodies and their lived experience', while exploring a sense of the self, explains Jones.

While united in their crimson backdrops, the surfaces of her paintings are overlaid with an interplay of kaleidoscopic colour, with deep reds and yellows competing with cooler blues and greens. Large swathes of colour sit alongside harsh repeated strokes of oil stick, giving her canvases the effect of rich textural tapestries.

Avoiding categorisation, Jones' practice also includes installation, sound, and performance works. Most recently, Jones participated in a collaborative work titled Blessings Pon Blessings, consisting of an installation, sound piece, and musical performances that celebrated her heritage as Black British woman.


In October 2020, Thaddaeus Ropac announced its representation of Jones, presenting her debut solo exhibition with the gallery, SMIIILLLLEEEE, in 2021.

Rachel Jones's solo exhibitions include Blessings Pon Blessings, Harlesden High Street, London (2021); A Sovereign Mouth, 12.26, Dallas (2020); Red Shaped Mouths, The Chinati Foundation, Marfa (2019); Mad Dogs, Jupiter Woods, London (2018); Grandmama Looking At Him, Marriott's Way, Norfolk (2018); Rachel Jones: The Black In Their Face, Residence Gallery, London (2017); Sugar Cane Plantation, Folk, London (2014); and Noble Eagle/Wiley Fox, 48 Virginia Court, Glasgow (2013).

Jones' group exhibitions include Mixing It Up: Painting Today, Hayward Gallery, London (2021); Citizens of Memory, The Perimeter, London (2021); Drawing Biennial 2021, Drawing Room, London (2021); A Focus on Painting, Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, London (2020); Rachel Jones & Nicholas Pope, Sunday Painter, London (2020); The Artist Dining Room | Faith Ringgold, Guest Projects, London (2019); Winter in America III, Mom's Favorite Space, Los Angeles (2018); MYCO-TV, 7 Rue de Juvisy, Paris (2018); Breaking Shells, The Koppel Project, London (2018); Hands To Mouth, FOLD Gallery, London (2017); RSA: New Contemporaries, Royal Scottish Academy, Edinburgh (2014), among others.

Jones' works have been collected by museums and public institutions worldwide, including Hepworth Wakefield, Wakefield; Tate, London; Towner Gallery, Eastbourne; Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami; and Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.

Website and Instagram

Jones's website can be found here, and her Instagram can be found here.

Annabel Downes | Ocula | 2021

Rachel Jones
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!!!!! by Rachel Jones contemporary artwork painting
Rachel Jones !!!!!, 2024 Oil stick and oil pastel on unstretched canvas
177 x 312 cm
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