Marc Straus

Gallery

Devoid of pictorial motifs, narratives and at times even color, the work of Texas-based artist Otis Jones is muted yet intensely physical, and stubbornly original. Shunning the grandiose, Jones’ interests lie in the most basic essentials: the relationship of form, composition and color, and the subtle nuances that give his paintings marvelous character.

“I’m interested in objects, patina, wear, and age. Each piece takes on its own geology. I don’t hide anything. It’s a very real object”, Jones once said. Thus the desire to celebrate the history of his process comes centerstage in each work. Roughly-cut canvases are tacked on irregularly shaped hand-made wood frames where both the layered plywood edges, usually four inches thick, and staples are deliberately exposed as compositional elements.

Then, guided by intuition and experience, Jones continuously applies and sands away paint. This empirical ritual is repeated until an abraded texture of intense visual depth is achieved. Cratered like the Moon, the surface is a palimpsest of the maker’s hand – one can sense its genealogy, the inscribed time, and sincerity.

Jones’ palette seems to be monochromatic but a closer look reveals a complex tension of colors, manipulated and overpainted in numerous layers. Jones employs an economy of formal elements: lines, dots and squares. These geometric shapes of contrasting colors are either excavated from previous layers or important enough for Jones to spare from erasure. Nothing feels contrived here – every element embodies the painting as if it was grown there.

There are Post-Minimalist roots, even philosophies of Asian Mono-ha, but by focusing on the painting process as its own subject, Jones’ work attains an ineffable aura of permanence. Personal, spiritual and full of eccentricities, they promote a meditative perception synonymous with the best Abstract paintings.

Born in Galveston, Texas in 1946, Jones received his B.F.A from Kansas State University in 1969, continued graduate studies at Montana State University and earned his M.F.A. in 1972 from the University of Oklahoma. He was the 1982 recipient of a Visual Artists Fellowship Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts and has taught at Texas Christian University, the University of Texas at Austin and has served as an Associate Professor and Visiting Professor at University of Texas at Arlington. Jones’ work can be found in many private and public collections such as the Dallas Museum of Art and American Airlines. Jones is represented by Barry Whistler (Dallas, TX, US), Annex14 (Zurich, Switzerland) and MARC STRAUS, NYC.

Portrait Photo Credits: Rodney Rogers

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Selected Works
2020
Acrylic on linen on wood
13.5 x 11 x 3 in (34.2 x 27.9 x 7.6 cm) -  Marc Straus Gallery
Red Oxide with Blue Square

2020
Acrylic on linen on wood
13.5 x 11 x 3 in (34.2 x 27.9 x 7.6 cm)

2019
Acrylic on canvas on wood
24.0 x 24.0 x 2.75 in (61.0 x 61 x 7 cm)
 -  Marc Straus Gallery
Black Square Two White Lines

2019
Acrylic on canvas on wood
24.0 x 24.0 x 2.75 in (61.0 x 61 x 7 cm)

2019
Acrylic on canvas on wood
24.0 x 24.0 x 2.75 in (61.0 x 61 x 7 cm) -  Marc Straus Gallery
Black Square Two White Lines

2019
Acrylic on canvas on wood
24.0 x 24.0 x 2.75 in (61.0 x 61 x 7 cm)

2020
Acrylic on linen on wood
24 x 15 x 3 inches (61 x 38 x 7.6 cm) -  Marc Straus Gallery
White Rectangle with Black and Red Circles

2020
Acrylic on linen on wood
24 x 15 x 3 inches (61 x 38 x 7.6 cm)

2018
Acrylic on Canvas on Wood
56.75 x 46.5 x 4.0 in (144.1 x 118.1 x 10.2 cm) -  Marc Straus Gallery
Blue With Two Black and Two White

2018
Acrylic on Canvas on Wood
56.75 x 46.5 x 4.0 in (144.1 x 118.1 x 10.2 cm)

2019
Acrylic on canvas on wood
37 x 40.5 x 3.25 inches (94 x 102.9 x 8.3 cm) -  Marc Straus Gallery
Blue and Red Oxide on Purple

2019
Acrylic on canvas on wood
37 x 40.5 x 3.25 inches (94 x 102.9 x 8.3 cm)

2011
Acrylic on Canvas on Wood
40.6 x 213.4 x 10.2 cm (16.0 x 84.0 x 4.0 in) -  Marc Straus Gallery
Long Ochre Rectangle with 2 White Far Apart

2011
Acrylic on Canvas on Wood
40.6 x 213.4 x 10.2 cm (16.0 x 84.0 x 4.0 in)

2011-12
Acrylic on Canvas on Wood
67.0 x 48.0 x 2.5 in (170.0 x 122 x 6.5 cm) -  Marc Straus Gallery
4 Bone Circles

2011-12
Acrylic on Canvas on Wood
67.0 x 48.0 x 2.5 in (170.0 x 122 x 6.5 cm)

1990
Acrylic on Wood
18 inches (45.7 cm) -  Marc Straus Gallery
Two White Circles

1990
Acrylic on Wood
18 inches (45.7 cm)

2018
Acrylic on Canvas on Wood
29.0 x 29 x 7.6 cm (11.5 x 11.5 x 3.0 in) -  Marc Straus Gallery
Natural With One White Circle

2018
Acrylic on Canvas on Wood
29.0 x 29 x 7.6 cm (11.5 x 11.5 x 3.0 in)

2020
Acrylic on canvas on wood
13.5 x 11.5 x 3 inches (34.3 x 29.2 x 7.6 cm) -  Marc Straus Gallery
Tan with Red Circle

2020
Acrylic on canvas on wood
13.5 x 11.5 x 3 inches (34.3 x 29.2 x 7.6 cm)

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