It’s hard not to notice certain similarities between some of Dame Zaha Hadid’s earliest works and the architectural paintings of Laurence Jones. Hadid's concept paintings, frequently showcase her propensity toward expressive, fragmented geometric forms and hyperbolised planes. Jones’ work by no means emulates Hadid’s, but a comparable treatment of extensions and lines, of realism and expressionism in architectural subject matter has us beguiled entirely by the young artist. Born and bred in the UK, Jones is a relative newcomer to the art scene, having graduated with a BA in fine arts from Kingston University in 2013. He has since gone on to exhibit in several art fairs, including the Affordable Art Fair in Battersea, and more recently, LAPADA.
His paintings incorporate elements of both fiction and reality, and are brought to fruition through a varied means of production. Jones draws from a collection of different images digitally, layered and scratched back in Photoshop as a starting point for the large-scale work. He maintains however, that hand drawing remains a crucial element of his process.
The paintings lend themselves to a simulation of reality, presenting a hyperreal aesthetic that is heightened by the screen-like finish of the work. Perspectival planes are shifted, which presents a simultaneous distancing and magnification. Although the aesthetic of the work suggests a digital interference, broken and dripped paint, gradients and a varied means of application engage the work in a dialogue with material and surface.
The scenes deal with the nature of the postmodern gaze, and how this is affected by fabricated spaces. The creation of models and sets, which serve as reference material add a further layer of meaning to the work. Some elements are scanned in and collaged directly from film sets, a part of the artist’s practice that serves to enforce the overall aesthetic of the fabricated image, in turn borrowing from the tropes of staged photographic history.
Having learned all of this about Jones, it becomes clear that the magnetic appeal of his paintings and their shared nuances with Hadid’s has a lot to do with more than just an appreciation of buildings. It embodies an inquisitive nature successful in the pursuit of architectural understanding.
Laurence Jones is currently represented by the Rebecca Hossack Gallery.
Laurence Jones; laurencejones.com