Allen Jones

Santa Monica Shore


Not on display

Allen Jones born 1937
Oil paint on canvas
Support: 1835 × 1835 mm
Purchased 1981

Catalogue entry


Inscribed on reverse, on top turn-over edge of canvas ‘Allen Jones 77’
Oil on canvas, 72 1/8 × 72 7/8 (183.5 × 183.5)
Purchased from the Waddington Galleries (Grant-in-Aid) 1981
Exh: Allen Jones: Retrospective of Paintings 1957–1978, Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool, March–April 1979 and tour to Serpentine Gallery May–June, Museum and Art Gallery, Sunderland June–July, Staatliche Kunsthalle, Baden-Baden, September–October and Kunsthalle, Bielefeld November–December 1979 (52, colour)
Lit: Marco Livingstone, catalogue of the 1979 Allen Jones retrospective exhibition, n.p.
Repr: Marco Livingstone, Allen Jones: Sheer Magic, 1979, pp.124–5 in colour

'Santa Monica Shore’ was painted in the first half of 1977 when Allen Jones was living in a modern tower block overlooking the Pacific Ocean at Santa Monica, California, while a guest teacher in the Painting Department of the University of California, Los Angeles. The painting is based on a 35mm. colour slide which Jones had taken showing the view from the balcony of his flat. The space was defined by a wall on the left and an adjoining building on the right. The space between the two buildings gave the balcony railing the illusion of being warped. At the time Jones was teaching in California the sculptor James Turrell was giving a series of lectures there about the views from the centre of volcanoes; Turrell was much involved with questions of illusion.

The legs of the seated woman at the bottom left are also a reference to the artist and the spectator. The seated woman is taking her own photograph by means of an extension lead. During Jones's stay in California sea mists were frequent and one partially obscures the sunset in ‘Santa Monica Shore’.

Published in:
The Tate Gallery 1980-82: Illustrated Catalogue of Acquisitions, London 1984

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