An exhibition of new paintings by Texas artist Otis Jones will be on
display October 16-November 14 at William Campbell Contemporary Art. An opening
reception will be held Friday, October 16, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. The show will
include up to ten new pieces that continue Jones' ongoing exploration of
abstraction, as he attempts to express an art object's essence through
materials, process, and their resulting visual, physical, and spiritual coalescence.
Jones aims to create work that is at once painting and object. The lushly
tactile, abstract pieces both reveal and revel in what he calls their
"thingness," as they become physical manifestations of the artist's aesthetic
contemplations. "It's about trying to create something that is an object that
has some mystery to it," says Jones. "It is open to interpretation. They're
not designed; I'm much more interested in urges and desires."
Jones' work is nonrepresentational and austere in composition, which serves
to emphasize the parts and process integral to its creation. "It's important
to me to invest myself in the history of the painting," he says. "I want that
history to be visible." In that vein, he leaves all surfaces and edges exposed,
revealing each handmade mark, imperfect shape, and layer that bond to make the
finished piece. Jones continues his process of layering, painting, scraping,
and manipulating pigment until he feels the piece is resolved and the
components inextricably linked. He calls this the "geology" of his art,
likening it to rocks that, over time, fuse many substances together to
become uniquely whole entities, set in history and preserved that way forever.
The natural world remains a constant influence within Jones' oeuvre, as
evidenced by the rounded edges and imperfect shapes that break from the
concept of the traditional picture and plane. Like nature, the subject
matter is orchestrated by instinct and not intellect. The acrylic and oil
bar paintings are mounted onto three-inch wood supports as well, a
presentation that pushes them farther into viewer space and encourages
thoughtful interaction. This additional depth also allows viewers to see
each composition's strata, and in turn, its physical evolution (not unlike
the growth rings of a tree).
Jones strives to create art that is, fundamentally, universal. His paintings
address the shared human experience of encountering an object that produces
an inexplicable affinity or even passion-an experience that is felt on a
deeper level than the rational or cerebral. He wants viewers to approach his
work without preconceptions and does not assign contextual titles to the
pieces, thereby prompting onlookers to glean the work's true essence from a
personal standpoint. Thus, he hopes to facilitate a dialogue between art and
viewer, about the power of that which lives on the surface, as well as what
lies beneath and within.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Otis Jones has an extensive exhibition history that spans more than three decades. Most recently, he mounted a collaborative exhibition with Bret Slater at annex14 in Zurich, Switzerland. Numerous other credits include solo shows in galleries across the Metroplex, as well as in Atlanta, Houston, San Antonio, Santa Fe, and New York City. His work has been featured in many group exhibitions as well, including those at the Dallas Center for Contemporary Art, the Dallas Museum of Art, the Art Center of Waco, the Austin Museum of Art, the Cullen Center in Houston, the Arlington Museum of Art, the Galveston Art Center, the New Orleans Museum of Art, and the Museum of New Mexico in Santa Fe.
Jones' work is featured in numerous publications, among them Art in America,
Artlies magazine, Artnet magazine, D Home magazine, the Dallas Morning News,
the Dallas Observer, the Houston Chronicle, New American Paintings, the New York Times, NY ARTS magazine, Fort Worth's Star-Telegram, and THE magazine. Hiswork appears in many public collections, among them the Dallas Museum of Art, the MIT List Visual Art Center, the Tyler Museum of Art, and San Antonio's Witte Museum. Corporate collections include American Airlines, the A.H. Belo Corporation, AT&T, the Compaq Corporation, GTE, and Neiman-Marcus.
Jones earned his BFA from Kansas State University and his MFA from the University of Oklahoma. He has taught at Texas Christian University and the University of Texas at Arlington, among other universities, and in 1982 he was the recipient of a Visual Arts Fellowship Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.