July 21, 2017 Back To News

Otis Jones Joins MARC STRAUS

MARC STRAUS is pleased to announce that Otis Jones has joined the New York gallery. Born in Galveston, Texas in 1946, Jones has created a distinctive body of abstract paintings in his long and illustrious career.

His sculpted paintings may seem muted at first until we perceive its hand-made quality, its nuances and subtleties. Jones tacks roughly-cut canvases over thick, irregularly shaped wood frames. The layered edges of plywood and staples remain exposed and celebrated. Jones then paints numerous layers, repeatedly sanding and reworking the surface to attain a natural abraded texture. A few formal elements of small circles or lines are added or excavated from under-painting. As a result, his paintings are sincere and full of character, bearing traces of its genealogy.

Jones explains: “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.” Pared down to the essentials, Jones’ works contain an incredible aura of permanence.

While Jones has been widely shown in Texas, and recently in Europe, his first solo exhibition in New York City with MARC STRAUS will be in the Fall of 2018.

Marc Straus, founder of the New York gallery comments, “These are such convincing works and yet I almost do not know where to place them as the work is so filtered by instinct and its need to be hand-made. I think of early tacked on canvases of Richard Tuttle but then there is a hint of Arte Povera, early Minimalism, and even Color Field. In the end, there is nothing quite like these paintings; they are sophisticated and yet unorthodox, they are formal and informal.”

Barry Whistler, owner and founder of Barry Whistler Gallery who represents Jones in Dallas adds, “Having worked with Otis Jones for sometime now, it has always struck me what succeeds in his work is his approach to the formal aspects of painting combined with his innate sense of color. It is deserving now that such work is seen by even more.”

Suzanne Friedli, co-founder and partner of Annex14 who represents the artist in Zurich comments: “When we saw the paintings of Otis Jones for the first time we were immediately impressed by the deepness and the density of this reduced language, the physical presence of the object-like works and the concentration on painting as a process. We didn’t understand why this outstanding conceptual and aesthetical work was not known at all in Europe, and knew we could raise great interest in a short time. We are very proud to collaborate with this artist and excited for Jones to now have a wider audience in the US.”

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.

Photo credits: Rodney Rogers

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