(1915-1964) was an abstract expressionist painter who lived and worked in Michigan and Ohio. Born in Durham, North Carolina, Jones entered the Chicago Art Institute in the mid-1930s where he studied painting, drawing and the graphic arts. He graduated with an MFA degree in 1939. After serving in the U.S. Army during WW II, Jones took a teaching position at Michigan State University where he taught until 1962, at which time he accepted a professorship at Ohio State University. He died two years later at the age of 49.
Murray Jones' work, from his emergence from the Chicago Art Institute until his death, was engaged with various mainstream issues in the art of his time. In the 1940s, he was immersed in the influences of surrealism as a vehicle for social commentary, and as a vehicle for engaging the subconscious, In the late 40s and early '50s, his interest in the unconscious saw a move away from figurative imagery and an immersion in pure abstraction. With the advent of abstract expressionism, Jones found a context to employ both deft drawing skills and a highly nuanced sense of composition in an increasingly fluid gestural manner. Long an avid experimenter with new media, Jones settled, by the early 1950s, on the use of automotive lacquer as his paint medium of choice. It was also during this period that he began to explore the use of collage elements in his paintings.
From 1959-61, Jones lived and worked in Kyoto Japan under the sponsorship of a Fullbright Research Fellowship. It was during this period that he discovered the rich variety of traditional Japanese papers. As a result, his employment of collaged elements in his work increased dramatically with paper offering wide ranging textural options and the lacquer paint serving simultaneously as the glue medium and vehicle for color. Greatly influenced by the quiet nuances of natural materials pervasive in traditional Japanese architecture, Jones' palette became more subtle and subdued. The influence of Japanese lacquer ware, screen paintings and religious painting saw the inclusion of metallic powders in paint washes as a vehicle to make his work process more spontaneous and the finished paintings increasingly abstract and atmospheric.
During his lifetime, Jones exhibited primarily in Detroit and Chicago, and was included in the 1961 Carnegie International as well as various other national group shows. His work is in the permanent collections of the Detroit Institute of the Arts, Columbus Museum, Chicago Art Institute, Dayton Art Institute, Ohio State University, Michigan State University and numerous private collections.
Michael Jones (1946- ) grew up in Michigan and Ohio the son of artist parents, Murray Jones being his father. He attended Ohio State University from 1964-68 graduating with a BFA degree in Sculpture. From 1968 to the mid-70s he pursued diverse activities, organizing a World Game Workshop based on the ideas of Buckminster Fuller, and as a member of Public Works, the Yellow Springs mural painting project. Jones obtained MFA degree in Ceramics in 1978 again at Ohio State University.
After a decade and a half of curatorial work directing two university gallery programs, Jones decided in 1991 to pursue studio activities full time. He currently maintains a ceramic studio in which he produces a range of functional and decorative ware that is sold across the country to individuals, architects, designers, and restaurateurs. This work is heavily inspired by the world of Japanese ceramics. Jones' drawings spring from reflections on the ideas and processes associated with vessel making, and, more recently, an interest in energy systems as they occur in nature and in the body.
The exhibition runs from January 14 through March 5. The gallery is open Wednesday-Saturday 2-6pm and by appointment. For further information call (937) 767-1711.