In Joyride, her exhibition of recent paintings, Toronto artist Janet Jones evokes impressions of our contemporary urban world, the hybrid spaces of our globalized environment that collapse the experiential and the technological, the near and far, the real and the virtual. When experienced, these spaces become immersive, destabilizing and ecstatic.
Her process begins with taking photographs: as she roams the core of a large metropolis at dusk; from a plane window en-route at night; from a hotel window looking down at the vast urban sprawl; or along the hyper-lit passages of the Las Vegas casino strip. She then collages these images into small hand-made photo-montages ‘mashing’ the images from a diversity of places together. It is from these photo-montages that the paintings evolve.
In Jones’ paintings, using oil paint to suggest shimmering gradations of light and thin layers of fluorescent colour to create chromatic glows of colour that extend beyond the paintings onto the white gallery walls, she infiltrates these contemporary spaces, illuminating them. The paintings oscillate between abstraction and representation, referencing both film and photography. Both beautiful and somewhat dangerous, they elude to the present techno-sublime, the ecstatic blur of technology as we speed joyously yet precariously into the future.
Janet Jones is a Toronto based painter whose work has been exhibited across Canada, in Los Angeles, New York, England, Germany, France and China. Her recent projects include; a national touring exhibition of her paintings, DaDa Delirium, with an accompanying catalogue (2011) with essays by Stuart Reid, Nell Tenhaaf and an interview with the artist by Georgiana Uhlyarik, and participation in the Empire of Dreams exhibition, MOCCA (Summer 2010) curated by David Liss. Jones received her MFA from York University and her PhD from New York University in the area of art theory and criticism. Jones has been a visiting artist in France, England, Russia, China, the Netherlands, and Cuba. An Associate Professor in the Department of Visual Arts, York University, Toronto, where she teaches painting, she has been Chair of the Department of Visual Arts and Director of the MFA Program in Visual Arts.