Le Fantôme, is the title of Philip Jones second solo exhibition at Espacio Mínimo gallery. The title refers to Paris, the real and the mythical city of the avant-garde whose marvelous past of art and culture lives in the mind of the artist like a phantom. Paris is the subject of the different paintings that form the exhibition:
The paintings show encounters with Paris. The city and the idea of it are so important in the history of art and literature. For an artist it is as much a city of the mind, with all its associations and resonances. Much of the painting that’s most important to me was made in Paris. For this exhibition I have made large paintings of scenes from several visits I made to Paris to draw fashion shows, and also from the memories of other visits to the city at different times in my life.
The paintings show Paris revisited, from childhood to later approaches as a student and, more recently, from his visits to draw the fashion shows and their social and cosmopolitan ambience. Following Marcel Proust, Philip Jones presents a collage of memories that apprehend the past through art.
The works in the exhibition are painted from memories, photographs and sketches. There is a juxtaposition and layering of recollection, observation and imagination, a collage of remembered encounters with a particular place at different times.
Departing from a post-impressionist painterliness the British artist echoes a certain Belle Epoque register with a contemporary voice. The painting becomes more expressionistic, somewhat brutal and rapid, painted with urgency and in high contrast. The spectral tone of the show is increased by inversions of tone and distortions of colour, where paint and pattern become scenes and figures in dramatic painterly events. These paintings, specifically those with figures and compositions taken from the fashion shows and its social events, suggest something lost, an emotive and poignant nostalgia.
Philip Jones (Manchester, U.K., 1971) studied at Central Saint Martins and at The Royal College of Art in London. From 1994 to 1996 he was granted the TI Group Painting Scholarship at The Royal College of Art and in 1997 was awarded the Rome Scholarship in Painting at The British School at Rome. He has shown individually in Europe and North America. His work has been included in exhibitions in centers such as Liverpool’s Tate Gallery and London Camden Ats Centre.