Artist biography

English painter, sculptor and printmaker. He studied at Hornsey College of Art, London (1955–9, 1960–61), spending 1959–60 at the Royal College of Art, where he was associated with the rise of Pop art. Motivated by the theories of Jung and Nietzsche, he began in paintings such as Hermaphrodite (1963; Liverpool, Walker A.G.) to depict fused male/female couples as metaphors of the creative act. While living in New York (1964–5) he discovered a rich fund of imagery in sexually motivated popular illustration of the 1940s and 1950s. Henceforth, in paintings such as Perfect Match (1966–7; Cologne, Mus. Ludwig), he made explicit the previously subdued eroticism, adopting a precise linear style as a means of emphasizing tactility. The full extent of his Pop sensibility emerged in sexually provocative fibreglass sculptures such as Chair (1969; London, Tate), life-size images of women as furniture with fetishist and sado-masochist overtones. In the mid 1970s he returned to a more painterly conception in canvases such as Santa Monica Shores (1977; London, Tate) and to a playful stylisation in figure sculptures, notably The Tango (1984; owned jointly by Liverpool, Walker A.G., and Merseyside Development Corp.), a larger than life-size dancing couple made from polychrome steel plate. Lithography, in which his output was prolific, proved an appropriate medium for his graphic flair. Among his publications are Figures (Milan, 1969) and Projects (London, 1971), the latter including his designs for stage, film and television.

Allen Jones: Das graphische Werk (exh. cat., Cologne, Gal. Spiegel, 1970)
Allen Jones: Retrospective of Paintings 1957–1978 (exh. cat. by M. Livingstone, Liverpool, Walker A.G., 1979)
M. Livingstone: Sheer Magic by Allen Jones (New York, 1979)
C. Jencks, V. Arnos and B. Robertson: Allen Jones (London, 1993)


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