Lot 6
  • 6

Allen Jones

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  • Allen Jones
  • Arabesque
  • painted stainless steel and corten steel

Catalogue Note

Arabesque represents some of the latest developments in Allen Jones' sculptural works and features his inimitable sense of movement and bold colouration. The design for the figures initially emerged from paper cut-out maquettes which when realised in steel become powerful expressions of physical movement. Andrew Lambirth, writing about Jones’ sculptural practice, quotes the artist and describes his singular grasp of material and form: ‘“In painting, the contour describes the volume whereas in the sculpture the volume, in a way, describes the contour”. The challenge of working in sheet metal is “how to unwind an image, so that bits of it come and go as you move around it". Jones is a master of this delicate ambiguity. Follow the line moving around the edge of a sculpture, then through into a plane, which in turn will box in a form with suggested volume, before moving out into a line again’ (A. Lambirth, Allen Jones: Works, London, 2005, p. 125). Arabeque is an outstanding example of Jones’ current style, and it is particularly fortunate that at Chatsworth it can for a short time share the gardens with another of the artist’s recent works, Déjeuner sur l'Herbe, which is part of the Chatsworth House Trust’s permanent collection.

Allen Jones, born in 1937, has for decades led a uniquely distinguished path through 20th Century art. As a pioneer of Pop Art during the 1960s and 70s, Jones presented a rich stream of sexualised imagery that appropriated fetishistic magazine imagery alongside the bold tonal values which characterised the Fauves. The tactile qualities of his painted work naturally created an inroad to three-dimensional works, and since the 1980s Jones has been creating monumental figurative sculptures which, like Arabesque, are captivatingly lithe and energetic.