Allen Jones’ future-bots rendezvous in Paris

Re-examine the artist’s fetishisation of the female form as a statement on the strength of femininity at his first solo show at Almine Rech Gallery

Kind of Blue, 2015
Kind of Blue, 2015 | Image: © Allen Jones, courtesy of the artist and Almine Rech

Allen Jones is one of those rare creators who has crossed over from the art world into the consciousness of popular culture. The British sculptor and painter is one of the best-known pop-movement names to emerge from 1960s Britain, infamously creating a glass table and chair out of bondage-clad female bodies. Now, Almine Rech Gallery is opening up a solo show in Paris of his more recent work from 7 March to 11 April. 

Coup de Théâtre, 2018-2019
Coup de Théâtre, 2018-2019 | Image: © Allen Jones, courtesy of the artist and Almine Rech

France has no problem with the fetishisation of the female body, but this is something that has made Jones a subject of controversy throughout his career. In the wake of decades of feminism, his work perhaps deserves to be re-examined not just as an excuse to show hot girls in stylised undergarments. He may be presenting sexy, corset-clad future-bots, but there is an interesting take on the commodification of femininity, domestic repression and modern consumerism. Increasingly, his painted standing figures in vibrant colours can be seen as a powerful concept of a female-led future. There is something Amazonian about Jones’s girls – which have included Kate Moss, who modelled for him in 2015.

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His pieces can be found in the collections of the Tate, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington DC and the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam. He has also had major retrospectives at the Serpentine and Barbican, and more recent solo shows at Tate Britain and the Royal Academy. The Almine Rech exhibition will include 15 works comprising sculptures and paintings (prices starting at £100,000), and on the afternoon of Saturday 7 March art historian Fabrice Hergott will be in conversation with the artist himself. Expect a dose of retro eroticism, figurative fancy and a sci-fi take on beauty.

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