Once in a while, an artist comes along and grabs my attention. My new favorite artist is Jennie C. Jones. I discovered Ms. Jones while reading a New York Times art review by Ken Johnson. She is a visual and sound artist that pushes beyond “normal” art practice boundaries.
Ms. Jones art manipulates and layers preexisting recordings in relationship to art history and music history. She clearly points out the absence of African American contributions to current modernists aesthetics. Her works on paper, sound, and installation pieces shed light on a cultural exclusive modernism.
From Ms. Jones artist statement: “My practice is both a comment on and a continuum of the conceptual ideology of jazz, an honoring of the deep radical legacy of its experimentation, of hybrid modernist forms, of wit, of riff — the turning of a phrase onto itself. Profoundly invested in history, I attempt a merger of art history and black history within the realm of the abstract languages they constructed.” As a result, Ms. Jones fills a void in the art world.
Art should shed light on a new thought or interpretation on critical thought and practice. Jones: “Consequently, my work occupies a unique space in that I aim to examine the cultural intersections of music, theory, art, and history–at its core my practice is a search for a neo-modernism, apparent in my exploration of both the geometric and non-geometric styles of modernist production.”
By far this is clearly one of the best artist statements I’ve read in a long time. There is no disconnect between her manifesto and the art. Ms. Jones is authentic and true to her art practice. Her current show titled Electric is on display in New York at Sikkema Jenkins & Company through August 13th. Luckily, her art will be on view January- March 2011 at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco. It will be a feast for the eyes, mind, and soul.