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Allen Jones

British pop art luminary

From the Archives


Allen Jones

British Pop artist Allen Jones’s long, prolific career has seen the artist working with painting, sculpture, lithography, and drawing, creating a unique and influential canon of work. A Senior Academician at London’s Royal Academy of Arts, Jones’s art explores spatial forms and objectivity, more often than not drawing on themes of human sexuality and erotic imagery, including BDSM, fetish, and pin-up glamour. An inspired and inspiring artist, Allen Jones is the master of form, whether in his iconic fiberglass sculptures or his graphically driven prints and lithographs.

Bursting onto the jaded British art scene in the 1961 group show Young Contemporaries along with David Hockney, Billy Apple, Patrick Caulfield, Peter Blake, and R. B. Kitaj—all fellow founding members of British Pop Art—Allen Jones’s work was immediately identified as dynamic, bold, and utterly original. His flat canvases, with their sharply-defined hard edges, emphasized the painting as an object, a new kind of art. But perhaps Jones’s best-known work is the infamous Hatstand, Table and Chair (1969), which features life-size sculptures of women posed as items of furniture.

Controversial and attention-grabbing, editions of the work have been collected by the likes of Elton John, Gunther Sachs, and Roman Polanski, and even appeared in Stanley Kubrick’s seminal movie A Clockwork Orange in 1972. His seminal works from the 1960s and 1970s are now considered masterpieces of erotically charged exuberance, reveling in their form and inspiring controversy, admiration, sensuality, and respect across the board. To this day he remains as fascinated as ever by transgressing limits—artistic, sexual, and cultural. Working in recent years on large-scale sculptures and public art projects, Allen Jones remains as vital as ever.

Among his recent works was a cover art for TASCHEN’s luxury Collector’s Edition of Naomi Campbell, in which the artist creates a characteristically sensual art sculpture, based on Campbell’s chest, making for an especially eye-catching coffee table fixture.