Sarah Jones

  • Art
  • Photography
0 Love It
1/5
'The Rose Gardens (Display) (VI)', 2014

Copyright the artist. Courtesy Maureen Paley, London.

2/5
'Screen (I)', 2014

Copyright the artist. Courtesy Maureen Paley, London.

3/5
'Rosehip (I)', 2014

Copyright the artist. Courtesy Maureen Paley, London.

4/5
'Cabinet (XIII) (Tractatus)', 2014

Copyright the artist. Courtesy Maureen Paley, London.

5/5
'Cabinet (II) (after Man Ray) (I)', 2013

Copyright the artist. Courtesy Maureen Paley, London.

Free

Sarah Jones’s photographs draw you into luxurious darkness. The overwhelming desire is to get up close in order to let your eyes inch across textures and details – papery orchid petals, the lustrous coat of a horse. It’s here, nose to the wall, where the work becomes truly disconcerting. Because, while Jones’s images describe things with exacting clarity, the photos themselves are uniformly matt and beguilingly depthless.

Over the past few years, the British artist has become something of a photographic Henry Ford, largely limiting herself to shades of black, and this show continues the moody monochrome vibe. A dash of colour comes courtesy of works from ‘The Rose Gardens (Display)’ series which appear to show municipal rose beds in the dead of night; in fact they were shot with bright studio lights during daylight. This day-for-night substitution is just one strategy used by the artist to cast doubt on what we are seeing. Doubling and mirroring also play a role in this show, giving Jones’s subjects an unsettling, almost mirage-like presence when witnessed en masse.

The tendency here, as shown in photographs of textiles receding into darkness, is towards a kind of painterly romanticism, one that draws us towards the edges of things – and beyond that, the void. It’s this, along with the work’s combination of restraint and opulence that makes these bewitching images unique in contemporary British art.

Martin Coomer

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