Pierogi is pleased to present an exhibition of work by Kim Jones. Jones was born in San Bernardino, CA, and his work grew out of the Southern California performance art scene of the 1970s. His contemporaries there were Paul McCarthy and Chris Burden, and he was influenced by the work of artists such as Bruce Nauman and Eva Hesse.
Jones’ work incorporates performance, sculpture, drawing, and painting. He became known early on for his performance persona, “Mudman,” and could be seen walking the streets of Los Angeles and Venice, CA during the 1970s, and then during the ‘80s in New York City and New York’s subway system, covered in mud, and wearing an unwieldy lattice-work structure of sticks, tape, and twine on his back, his face covered with a nylon stocking. Throughout this time he was consistently developing drawings and paintings on paper. His works on paper range from intricate graphite drawings that have come to be referred to as ‘war drawings’ (which involve “x” and “dot” figures and erasure indicating movement of each force), to works that incorporate photography, acrylic paint, overlays of ink line work, and collage, many of which have been made over a period of thirty years. Over the years Jones has developed a language of materials and marks: sticks, mud, twine, rats, and “x” and “dot” symbols. “Mudman,” and other figures that resemble the performance persona, inhabit his elegant and simultaneously grotesque drawings and paintings. The elegant line of the ink drawings from the 1980s belies their intensity and subject matter.
This exhibition will occupy both gallery spaces. One gallery will feature sculptural works, from Rat Dog (a sculpture that appears repeatedly in photographs of Jones’ performances as early as 1973), to Pink Head (a small suspended sculpture comprised of a tiny pink plastic doll’s head atop a taped-together paper, wood and paint structure that appears to be flying), to Doll House (an actual doll house constructed by Jones and filled with black plastic rubber rats). The second room will feature a series of painted photographic works—some photographs of Jones’ performances from the mid-70’s through to 1990, later over-painted with elements that interact with the composition of the photographs; others photographs of sources as diverse as an art history book to an exercise magazine.
“...[D]eparting from the example of Joseph Beuys and other would-be modern shamans, Jones offers no healer’s nostrums, no utopian alternatives to the ongoing strife that both surrounds and emanates from us. In just such times, and we seem never to get beyond them—with the result that the artist’s larger themes are always current, indeed urgent, and never fade as the topical, no matter how searing, inevitably does—Jones’ art counters with authenticity and eccentric grace.” (Robert Storr, Mudman: The Odyssey of Kim Jones, 2007)
Jones’ work is currently on view at the New Museum (Collage: The Unmonumental Picture) through March 30, and a comprehensive traveling retrospective was recently on view at the Henry Art Gallery in Seattle (catalogue available). A room-sized installation of his work was included in the 52nd International Art Exhibition La Biennale di Venezia (2007), curated by Robert Storr. Jones received a BFA from the California Institute of Arts (LA) and an MFA from the Otis Art Institute (LA). He has completed residencies at ArtPace (San Antonio, TX), the Sirius Art Center (County Cork, Ireland), The American Academy in Rome and, The Mattress Factory (Pittsburgh, PA). His work has been included in such notable exhibitions as Disparities & Deformations: Our Grotesque, Site Santa Fe (2004); Out of Actions: Between Performance and the Object at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA (1998); and Choices at the New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York (1986).