Allen Jones

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Allen Jones is a renowned and famous British pop artist, who is also a Senior Academician at the prestigious, Royal Academy of Arts. Jones has been a recipient of the Prix des Jeunes Artistes for his contributions at the 1963 Paris Biennale. He is celebrated for his paintings, lithography and sculptures, some of his best known works include, ‘Table’, ‘Chair’, ‘Hatstand’ and ‘Hermaphrodite’ among others.

Allen Jones was born on September 1, 1937, in Southampton, England. His father was a factory worker of Welsh descent, and Allen grew up in the neighbourhood of Ealing, West London. He attended the Ealing County Grammar School for Boys, and from a very early age, he exhibited a keen inclination towards art and a natural talent. In 1995, he began attending the Hornsey College of Art in London, where he studied lithography and painting. During his stay at Hornsey, Allen was taught according to Paul Klee’s Pedagogical Sketchbook, and he travelled to Paris and Provence, in France, where he encountered the art of Robert Delaunay, which had a profound influence on him. In 1959, Allen left Hornsey, and enrolled himself at the Royal College of Art.

His stay at the Royal College was short-lived, as he was expelled just after a year, in 1960. Dejected and desolate, Allen returned to Hornsey and continued his studies, meanwhile, he also signed up for a teacher training course. In 1961, Allen showcased his work at the Young Contemporaries annual exhibition, and this exhibition garnered him immense fame and critical acclaim. In 1961, he received his first academic appointment, as a lithography instructor at Croydon College of Art, in London.

Allen became increasingly influenced by the works of Nietzsche, Freud and Carl Jung, and this influence began to exhibit itself in his works, for instance, ‘Hermaphrodite’, which has been applauded for depicting, “fused male/female couples as metaphors of the creative act”. Encouraged and fascinated by the liberty and freedom of expression enjoyed by American pop artists, in 1964, Allen moved to Manhattan where he got a studio at the Chelsea Hotel.

Moving to the USA opened great opportunities for him, and he discovered that sexually explicit content which was discouraged and looked down upon in the conservative atmosphere of European cultures, was promoted and banked upon in the US. Henceforth, all his paintings and art have been explicit in featuring fetishism, eroticism, sadism, masochism, and sexually provocative imagery, for instance works like, ‘Chair’ and ‘Perfect Match’ among others. In the 1970s, Allen began to draw away from his sexually rich imagery, and began focusing on more conventional and routine topics which are reflected through his works from this period, for instance, ‘The Tango’, ‘Santa Monica Shores’, ‘Figures’ and ‘Projects’.

Allen Jones continues to reside and work in Oxfordshire, England. Some of his best known works include, ‘Interesting Journey’, ‘Bikini Front’, ‘Figure Falling’, ‘Perfect Match’, ‘Hermaphrodite’, ‘First Step’, ‘Shoe Box’, ‘Chair’, ‘Hatstand’, ‘Table’, ‘Temple’ and ‘Two to Tango’, among many others.

Allen Jones Paintings

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