Works by Allen Jones at Sotheby's
Allen Jones Biography
Allen Jones is a British painter, sculptor, and lithographer best known for his pop art aesthetic, sexual imagery, and the controversy that both have brought him. A self-professed feminist, Jones contends with popular culture’s representations of women; his works reflect the constant corkscrew discussion surrounding Pop artists – and at times, surrealists – regarding whether the objectification of women in the fine arts should be construed as celebrating such objectification, or satirizing it.
Born in 1937 in Southampton, Jones attended the Royal College of Art with David Hockney, Peter Phillips and R. B. Kitaj, though he was expelled after one year. In spite of his expulsion, Jones was included in the pivotal 1961 “Young Contemporaries” exhibition which initiated the English Pop Art Movement. After moving to New York in the mid 1960s, Jones began experimenting with fetishistic, erotic, and transgressive imagery. Debuting in 1970, his first group of fiberglass sculptures, Hat stand, Table, and Chair presented life-size female mannequins as furniture in sexually exploitative positions. The works were met with intense criticism and outrage from feminists and other contemporary critics, and have been consistently protested or attacked when exhibited in the decades since their construction. In the 1980s and 90s, he worked in painting and printmaking consistently, and has more recently produced large-scale steel sculptures in public spaces including the Taikoo Place in Hong Kong.
Jones has enjoyed solo exhibitions at major institutions in the United Kingdom including the Barbican Art Gallery, the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool, the Institute of Contemporary Art in London, and many others. Since 2008 he has had a dedicated room of watercolors at the Royal Academy of Arts, which also launched his retrospective in 2014. He was elected a Royal Academician in 1986, and has an Honorary Doctorate of Arts from Southampton Solent University. Despite the controversy and condemnation, his works sell for impressively high prices; versions of his Hat stand, Table and Chair sold in 2013 for $2.8 million.