Flowers Gallery presents an exhibition of new paintings by Lucy Jones, including a portrait of artist Grayson Perry, commissioned by the Attenborough Arts Centre (University of Leicester) which will be displayed for the first time. The exhibition coincides with a new book Awkward Beauty published by Elephant (23 May 2019.)
British artist Lucy Jones is renowned for her raw, wild landscapes and distinctively provocative self-portraits, characterised by expressive brushwork and bold use of vibrant colour. Balancing an intricate rendering of line and space in her landscapes with the powerful simplicity of her portraits, Jones’s paintings conduct a journey through both interior landscapes and the external world beyond.
In this exhibition, the densely chromatic and vigorously wrought vistas of Too Much Yellow and Fields in the Pink depict the atmospheric landscape of the Shropshire hills. Fluctuating between sizzling heat and ice cool tones, Jones’ startling palette of variegated blues, vermillion, rapeseed yellow, lavender purple, maroon and scarlet reveals the expressive intensity of sensation in the landscape.
In her self-portraits, (for example With a Handicap Like Yours…) Jones’s revealing and de ant portrayal of her own body addresses ideas of femininity, aging and disability. Both personal and political, they address both the fragility and strength of the body, and society’s way of viewing difference in others. In recent years, Jones has also turned her attention to creating portraits of other people, working with male subjects close to her. According to writer Charlotte Jansen, Jones “constantly overturns traditional ideas about masculinity in her portraits of men”, arguing that “…no contemporary painter has shown men as both emotionally and physically weak and vulnerable, capturing moments of sadness, suffering, instability – the qualities that subtly and naturally make their way into [her] paintings.” Writer and Art Critic Philip Vann has described Jones’s transformative vision of humanity as showing “the inextricable dignity and vulnerability of other people, friends, loved ones and the artist herself – explored with a rare, expansive clarity, vibrancy and originality”.
Jones has been commissioned to create a portrait of Grayson Perry for the Attenborough Arts Centre, Leicester. The completed painting will be on view for the first time in this exhibition. To celebrate the Attenborough Arts Centre’s patrons Jones was selected in 2017 by the University of Leicester to be the first artist invited to undertake a portrait, selecting Grayson Perry as her subject. Further to this exhibition will be a comprehensive retrospective of the art of Lucy Jones in all three gallery spaces at the Attenborough Arts Centre, Lucy Jones: Awkward Beauty from Saturday 27 July – Sunday 6th October 2019.
A new book, Awkward Beauty is the first publication to draw together both her portraits and landscape paintings produced over the past twenty-five years, tracing the evolution of a distinctively vibrant painterly language used to describe the world, herself and others. Illustrated with over 100 colour plates, the book demonstrates Jones’s broad emotional range, with insightful essays by Charlotte Jansen, Tom Shakespeare and Philip Vann. To be published on 23 May 2019 by Elephant, distributed internationally by Laurence King Publishing.(c) Lucy Jones, Courtesy of Flowers Gallery, London and NewYork