Monday, December 10, 2012

JULES BUCK JONES at Conduit Gallery

Primordial 8, 2012, mixed media on paper, 30x22 repost

I have been reluctant to write about Jules Buck Jones, because I have been fighting with myself whether I think the works are successful. When I was down in Houston, I saw a show of Jones' animals that featured multiple heads and my gallery hopping companion really enjoyed the work, but I was not sure. But slowly, I have come around to feel Jones' work really has considerable merit and Conduit Gallery helped me reach that conclusion.

First of all, the cubist elements are undeniably present. At McMurtrey Gallery in Houston, the multiple perspectives were not based on movement, but rather Jones is showing a Tiamat multi-head creature. Other images were very much about movement, but dropped the shifting viewpoints. Loosely drawn or painted geometric shapes make up the animal shapes and sometimes these gestures left the border of the figure. This looseness first challenged me and made me skeptical that the images Jones’ created were too oversimplified, but I have come to enjoy these marks, because the animals seem to actively leap and fly off the paper.

Jules Buck Jones’ work at Conduit has some wonderful forest pieces that feel like collages. Though painted and drawn, the shapes feel as if Jones cuts and pastes them down. You might say they even have a stained glass window look, not only because the images feel constructed, but the paintings have that same mythical storytelling feel that an old church might feature. I think Jones might be diving deeper into the past. I see some Aesop’s fables, but maybe that is because I have been reading them lately. Jones’ titles, ”Primordial #2, #6, and #8” clue us in on how far these images might be drawn from our imagined past. He is tapping into the past at almost a genetic memory level. It is no coincidence that I think Jones could make a great children’s book illustrator, because his style has a whimsical appeal, but a dark undertone that children seem to understand.

I know I might be a “Johnny come lately” to fully appreciating Jones, but I find that those artists that I have taken longer to appreciate seem to be far more important and interesting as you follow their career. Conduit Gallery has shown Jones before, but each time you see his work, a new aspect of the same style emerges. Jules Buck Jones’ show will be up through November 24th with works by Jennie Ottinger and seven artists filling out the project room space. for more images.

1 comment:

Cameron Lawrence said...

This is a great piece to just stare off into it and let it take you on a ride. THis is great on how it gives us sort of a three dimensional feel to it. I wish I could see this piece in person to see how all the different lines overlap with each other. THis artwork is still great. Keep up the great work.