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The Art of Ben Jones: Evolution - Revolution

Catalogue relating to an exhibition, 2011
Year published: 2011
Number of pages: 30

image of The Art of Ben Jones: Evolution - Revolution

Lavish full colour catalogue produced to accompany Ben Jones’ exhibition, The Art of Ben Jones: Evolution - Revolution, at Rich Mix Centre for the Arts, London.

Contents as follows:

Ben Jones’s Evolution/Revolution Series, essay by José Rodeiro

Ben Jones: In the Spirit, In the Flesh, essay by Eddie Chambers

Evolution/Revolution Gallery

Artist’s CV

All pages interspersed with details and installation views of Jones’ work, and other photographs.

From the catalogue: “Away from Ben Jones’ ongoing explorations, a new body of work deals with ecological concerns, triggered perhaps by the recent BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Though oil companies have been wreaking havoc on the environment for decades - most noticeably perhaps, the oil fields of the Niger delta – it was the BP spill which caught the world’s and the media’s attention. The sight of thick oil belching uncontrollably from the depths of the earth, on the ocean floor, was a graphic image, almost biblical in its resonances. Like a great many people, Ben Jones was disturbed by this ecological carnage and out of this concern sprang a new body of work, several pieces of which are included in this exhibition. In one work, consisting of three panels, Ben Jones presents a study of delicate marine life, almost as if seen through a microscope. Within the piece we sense something of the incredible ways in which all manner of sea life exists in the oceans of the world, affirming perhaps the primeval belief that the oceans represent life, no less than other prehistoric elements. The work may well lean towards a delicate abstraction, but the shapes created by Ben Jones’ mark making remind us of seahorses, marine plant life, and so on. And yet, Ben Jones’ piece is not a benign representation. The enlarged microscopic forms, if we read them as such, appear to be in the process of being targeted by rifle rangefinder scopes. The red wash, and the sporadic placing of more intense mark making, again in red, reinforce the sense that we are witnessing a scene of calculated and targeted destruction, made all the more real by the work’s subtle associations with blood and killing. The oil that spilled out into the gulf spread out in concentric rings of death and destruction, brought to mind by the artist’s use of rings and circles within the piece. Pollution subtly but insistently referenced. Most uncomfortable perhaps, the viewer is to an extent implicated in the work. We become the ones not only looking through the lens, but also looking through the riflescope. This is subtle, haunting work wholly in keeping with Ben Jones’ oeuvre of beautiful, delicate mark making.”

Related people

»  Eddie Chambers

Born, 1960 in Wolverhampton, England

»  Ben Jones

Born, 1942 in New Jersey

Related exhibitions

Related venues

»  Rich Mix Centre for the Arts

London, United Kingdom