Works by Jules Buck Jones
September 1 through October 6, 2012
The glass door set in the narrow stone building which houses N Space makes entrance like finding a speakeasy in an alley. Belonging to Nelsen Partners, the exhibition space primarily functions as an office for this forward-thinking architecture and interior design firm. The space has a shotgun floorplan, normal to buildings on Congress Avenue, and remnants of the office space linger during opening receptions.
Three small works by Jules Buck Jones, Fox Ghost 2, Alligator Bones and Alligator Island, hang in the reception area. Fox Ghost 2 depicts the front half of a fox in black ink and is the most straightforward work in the show. Alligator Bones and Alligator Island demonstrate a layering and collaging style recognizable to Jones. When one steps into the office, the bold colors of Terrapin draws guests to the right. A frog, a volcano and the upper crust of the earth convulse in a volcanic explosion. The color and the movement of the of lava through the image creates a powerful sense of energy.
Down the hallway, Felidae and Canidae depict heads of different felines and canines pouring out toward the edges of the paper from a central point. These two works on paper, 65 x 70 inches and 72 x 82 inches respectively, hang from bare strips of wood clasped to their top and bottom edges. The combination of bare wood, the paper Jones left blank, and the beige stone backdrop contrasts with the busyness of the collaged animal heads. The layering of lines, acrylic, watercolor, gouache, ink, graphite, colored pencil and wax crayon gives the works a unique texture that demands close inspection.
Bufo Bubo fills the last available space in the hallway. This monochromatic image depicts a frog that fades into a jungle backdrop from which an owl is framed. The owl, caught in flight, appears to be coming toward you ominously. Jones successfully renders the animals blended together and with their environments. Using color and composition, he frames a mythical world. In a small office space across from Bufo Bubo, Fox Head Receptor presents a video Jones created. Three screens attached to a large fox head shows a scene of masked people tramping through the wilderness. With the light off, the film gave me a sense of fear, of being hunted or hunting.
Anura, placed in the conference room, diagrams frog families around a watery world. This work lacks the layering, collaging, and morphing of shapes, forms and imagery of most of the other pieces included in this show. While it is a good work which shows Jones’ interest in the natural world, I prefer the four larger works in the hall (Terrapin, Felidae, Canidae, and Bufo Bubo) for their movement and the metamorphosis of form. In the larger works, Jones succeeds in his desire to empower the work by creating it on the same scale as the viewer.
These works by Jules Buck Jones demonstrates his abilities and interests. I am excited to his continued quality of work and look forward to seeing him develop in the future.