Janet Jones was born in Montreal, Quebec. She received her BFA in painting and photography from Concordia University - studying painting with Guido Molinari and Yves Gaucher, and photography with the experimental photographer Suzanne Swibold. Janet Jones is currently 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; two solo exhibitions, Playtimes (2015) and Joyride (2012) both at Katzman Contemporary Toronto, 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 has been a visiting artist in France, England, Russia, China, the Netherlands, and Cuba. Her work is in numerous public and corporate collections including: BMO, TD Bank, Winnipeg Art Gallery, MacLaughlin Art Gallery, MacKenzie Art Gallery, Schulich School of Business, York University and AIMIA Corporation. Jones received her MFA from York University, upon graduation receiving the prestigious Samual Sarrick Purchase Award for outstanding studio work. She continued her studies, receiving her PhD from New York University in the area of art theory and criticism. Her dissertation titled: Clement Greenberg and the Artist /Critic Relationship, included interviews with Clement Greenberg, Jules Olitski, and other members of the ‘Greenberg Group’ and research gained through accompanying Greenberg on numerous studio visits. A Professor in the Department of Visual Arts, York University, Toronto, where she is Head of the Painting Area and teaches painting, she has been Chair of the Department of Visual Arts (2006-09), and Director of the MFA Program in Visual Arts (1997-2000).
Marshall McLuhan wrote that artists are the distant early warning systems of their time. I have always been fascinated with the future. The research that informs my painting practice centers on our experiences in contemporary, urban spaces: the overlay of real and virtual spaces in what has been termed cybercities; the techno-sublime - awe inspired not by nature but by technology; spectacle; and women’s roles within these environments.
These concerns naturally influence the form of my paintings: the smooth, painted yet almost photographic surfaces, the ‘unnatural’ colours, and the glow from the high-key florescent colours on the edges of the stretcher bars, surrounding the paintings. In a recent catalogue essay, Silent Light, Electronic Light, On The Paintings of Janet Jones, the curator Stuart Reid writes:
"… [Jones’ large paintings] are like windows that open up onto an abyss. What they depict is a fantastic, dark, mysterious space illuminated with artificial light and colour. These paintings can be read as contemporary urban nocturnes in which we glimpse images of a futuristic metropolis. Jones’ paintings allude to the imposition of technology on the urban sphere and transmit imagery through a techno-haze, the invisible silent network of signals, satellite relays and data exchange."
Unlike earlier, modernist abstraction that stressed ’purity’ or painting as a self-referential, autonomous medium, my paintings consciously engage with other media: analogue film, photography, and digital media. This conscious referencing of the look of other media through the medium of painting is most apparent in the panoramic series of large-scale paintings Nowhere Everywhere (2000-2003), first exhibited in Europe at the Kunsthalle Erfurt, Germany and Faux Mouvement, Metz, France and now in the collections of the Tom Thomson Art Gallery, Rodman Hall Art Gallery and York University. It is in these earlier paintings that my practice of referencing photographs taken during ‘drifts’ in mega-cities is most apparent. I enact ‘performative’ research by immersing myself in the core of urban centres, through walking the streets in the financial district of Toronto, the Wall Street area of New York, the former East Berlin and the Las Vegas strip. The A Las Vegas of the Mind paintings, (Peak Gallery, Toronto ON 2009), now in the permanent collection of the Winnipeg Art Gallery, grew directly out of my nighttime street experiences.
In later work, I became increasingly interested in the relationship between the viewer as an embodied subject and the painting on the wall. In my Canadian touring, solo exhibition, DaDa Delirium (2009-12), which was accompanied by a fifty page catalogue, the size of the paintings in relationship to the viewer’s body and the destabilizing, mesmerizing compositions, prompt the viewer to lose balance, to experience a sense of vertigo and delirium. These qualities are particularly evident in the large, vertical (54” x 96”) DaDa Delirio series shown at the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art, Toronto, ON and at Marine Contemporary, Los Angeles. In these works, the immersive and experiential encounters trigger not only an immediate physical reaction, but upon reflection, suggest a critique of our contemporary, everyday, lived condition.
The experiential nature of the present has been further imagined in my solo exhibitions Joyride Katzman/Kamen Gallery, Toronto, September 2012 and Playtimes, Katzman Contemporary, April-May 2015. Hypno-Merge into Dazzle Daze, a series of six paintings from Joyride that are now in the collections of BMO and TD Bank, suggest the experience of high speed, unrelenting flow, and the intermingling of the real and the virtual reflected in the title of these works. Richard Rhodes, the editor of Canadian Art Magazine, in a review of this exhibition wrote:
"Yet while graphic and fun, the paintings suggest some deep thinking about the effects of the increasingly integrated fusion of representational space into abstract practice. All space is hybrid space at this point caught up in a flux of preplanned rationality interacting with partial passing perception. Jones has found a way to compress the discontinuities into paintings that are reassuringly stable in their instabilities. She is showing us the prevailing norm for social and psychic space."
In her current paintings and hand-tinted, silver-based photograms, Jones is increasingly interested in re-envisioning notions of utopia within a contemporary context. In her series of paintings Wall Street Boogie-Woogie, in the collection of BMO, Janet ‘s interest in modernist abstract painters such as Mondrian, the Russian Constructivists and Moholy-Nagy, and their utopian visions of the world, is evident. An extended research trip to Moscow and St. Petersburg Russia and across Siberia via the Trans-Siberian Railway in 1992, a few months after the collapse of the Soviet Union and a subsequent visit to the Bauhaus in Weimer, Germany, sites of two very different utopian ‘dreams’, began her reflections.
1988 PHD, Clement Greenberg & the Artist/Critic Relationship, New York University, New York
1979 MFA, Samuel Sarick Prize, York University, North York, Canada
1977 BFA, Honours with distinction, Concordia University, Montreal, Canada
SELECTED SOLO EXHIBITIONS
2017 (upcoming) The Dream Machine / La Machine à Rêves, Patrick Mikhail Gallery, Montréal, QC
2016 Recent Acquisitions from DaDa Delirium, MacLaren Art Gallery, Barrie, ON
2015 Playtimes, Katzman Contemporary, Toronto
2013 DaDa Delirium, MacIntosh Gallery, University of Western ON
2012 Joy Ride, Katzman Kamen Gallery, Toronto, ON
2012 DaDa Delirium, Art Gallery of Northumberland, Coburg, ON
2010 DaDa Delirium, MacLaren Art Centre, Barrie, ON
2009 A Las Vegas State of Mind, Peak Gallery, Toronto, ON
2009 DaDa Delirium, Curated by Stuart Reid, Tom Thompson Art Gallery, Owen Sound, ON
2006 DaDa Flow, Peak Gallery, Toronto, ON
2004 panorama Galerie Sylviane Poirier Art Contemporain, Montreal, Que.
2002 panorama, Artist Project, for Public,Cities/Scene Issue.
2001 paintingsonline <janetjones <http://www.yorku.ca/jjones/>
1996 Static Red Head Gallery, Toronto, ON.
1992 On Shifting Ground, Latitude 53 Gallery, Edmonton, Alberta.
1991 On Shifting Ground Durham Art Gallery, Durham, Ontario.
1991 Eastern Edge Gallery, St. John's Newfoundland.
1991 Definitely Superior Gallery, Thunder Bay, Ontario.
1990 Struts Gallery, Sackville New Brunswick.
1986 Fleur du Mal, S.L. Simpson Gallery, Toronto, ON.
1984 S.L. Simpson Gallery, Toronto, ON.
1980 YYZ Gallery, Toronto, Ontario.
1980 80 Washington Square East Galleries, NY, NY.
1979 Fine Arts on Markham: Toronto, On.
SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS
2017 ' Abstraction: The Rebel Cause', Survey of Abstraction in Canada, from the 1950's to the present. Robert McLaughlin Gallery, Oshawa, ON. Curated by Linda Jansma.
2017 ' Imposters', Katzman Contemporary, Toronto, ON. April-May.
2016 The Triumph of the Therapeutic, Patrick Mikhail Gallery, Montréal, Québec
2016 It’s Miller Time, Group Exhibition, spring, Katzman Contemporary Gallery, Toronto, On.
2015 Papier Artfair 15, Featured Artist, Katzman Contemporary, April, Montreal, QC.
2015 Summer Show of Gallery Artists, Katzman Contemporary, Toeronto, ON
2014 Summer Show, Katzman Contemporary. July-August. 2014
2013 Collapse, Installation: Waiting for….Zabriski, Katzman Contemporary (For the Canadian Art Gallery Hop. October 2013)
2012 Toronto International Artfair 2012, Featured artist. Katzman Contemporary, October
2011 Celebrating Women Artists in the Permanent Collection, MacLaren Art Centre, Barrie, ON. March-April, 2011.
2011 At Home with Dystopia, Marine Contemporary, Los Angeles, Calif. Nov.-Jan.2010-11.
2011 Recent Additions to the Permanent Collection, Art Gallery of Northumberland, Cobourg, ON. Jan.-February, 2011.
2010 Empire Of Dreams, Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art, Toronto. ON. June-August, 2010. Catalogue
2009 Cluster, Peak Gallery, Toronto, ON.
2007 Nuit Blanche,Bloor Night Light, Projections and performance. Toronto.
2005 Cluster, Peak Gallery, Toronto, ON.
2004 The Ironic Turn, Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art Toronto, ON.
2004 Owens Art Gallery, Sackville, NB.
2003 The Ironic Turn, Faux Movement. Metz, France.
2002 The Ironic Turn, Kunsthalle, Erfurt, Erfurt, Germany.
1998 Project Room, Banff Centre for the Arts, Banff, Alberta.
1997 Red Head Gallery, Toronto, ON.
1991 Nine from Toronto," Art Gallery of York University, Toronto, ON.
1991 Glendon Gallery,Toronto, ON.
1990 Nine from Toronto", Newcastle-on-Tyne University Gallery,
1990 Newcastle-on-Tyne, England. Catalogue
1986 Faculty exchange exhibition. Touring exhibition to cities in China. Catalogue.
1984 Anima(l): Koffler Gallery, Toronto, ON. Catalogue
1984 Artists & Their Work" P.M.C., Toronto, ON.
1983 Attitude, C.N.E., Toronto, ON.
1983 Works on Paper, S.L. Simpson Gallery, Toronto, ON.
1983 New Drawings, The Drawing Center, New York, NY.
1983 Small Works, 80 Washington Sq. East Galleries, NY, NY. Curated by Marcia Tucker, The New Museum. Catalogue
2003 Bauhaus, Weimar, Germany, July.
2003 Hogeschool, Rotterdam, Netherlands, May.
2003 Willem de Kooning Art School, Rotterdam, Netherlands.
2000 Banff Centre for the Arts, Big City Residency
1998 Banff Centre for the Arts, Women and Paint Residency.
1993 Havana Artists' Union. Havana, Cuba, Fall.
1993 Université Canadienne en France, Nice and Paris, France.
1992 Slade School of Art - Graduate Painting Area, London, UK.
1992 Muchina Art Institute - St. Petersburg, Russia. Spring,
1992 The Repin Institute, St. Petersburg, Russia. Spring.
1992 The Moscow Artists' Union, Moscow, Russia. Spring.
1992 The Central Academy of Art, Beijing, China, Summer.
Schulich School of Business. Toronto, ON.
OAISS, AMPD, York University.
Bergeron Building, Faculty of Engineering, York University, Toronto, ON.
MacLaughlin Art Gallery, Oshawa, Ontario.
AIMIA, Head Office Toronto, ON.
Bank of Montreal, Head Office, Montreal, Que.
Dean’s Office, AMPD , York University
Department of Film, Faculty of Fine Arts, York University.
Rodman Hall, Brock University, St. Catherines, ON.
Bank of Montreal, Head Office, Toronto, Canada.
Winnipeg Art Gallery, Winnipeg, Manitoba
MacLaren Art Centre, Barrie, ON
Northumberland Art Gallery, Coburg, ON.
MacKenzie Art Gallery, Regina, Saskatchewan.
Tom Thomson Art Gallery, Owen Sound, ON.
2013 Elliot, Shaw, C. Susan Gold & Janet Jones at the McIntosh Gallery, LondonFuse, May 16, www.londonfuse.ca
2013 Belanger, Joe. On the Canvas: Two Diverse Exhibitions at the Gallery, London Free Press, May 22.
2012 Rhodes, Rick. Janet Jones’ Latest Canvases Pack Spatial Punch, Canadian Art Magazine, October.
2012 Sherwood, Barbara. Video interview with Janet Jones at Joyride exhibition , Katzman / Kamen Gallery, Sept. 12. Artsync, Canadian Art Connected
2012 Sumi, Glenn. Joyride, Katzman/Kamen Gallery Toronto, On. Now Magazine. Must See Shows.
2012 Sandals, Leah. Canadian Art Magazine, ‘Must Know artists from Acros the Canada”. www.canadianart.ca/artist/janetjones
2011 Bell-Farrell, C. New acquisitions from the Permanent Collection, MacLaren Art Centre, www.maclarenart.com
2011 Reid, Stuart. DaDa Delirium, catalogue essay: Silent Night Electronic Light: On the Paintings of Janet Jones, by Stuart Reid, Director, MacKenzie Art Gallery, Regina, Sask.
2011 Tenhaaf, Nell.DaDa Delirium, catalogue essay: Outside the Comfort Zone: Paintings by Janet Jones
2011 Uhlyarik, Georgiana. DaDa Delirium, catalogue interview with Janet Jones. Georgiana Uhlyarik, Assistant Curator, AGO
2011 Anderson, C. “At Home with Dystopia at Marine Contemporary, LA” The Huffington Post, Jan.
2011 Nys, Shana, Review of Salon #7, Marine Contemporary, LA. WhiteHot Magazine, Jan.
2010 Carson, Andrea. View on Canadain Art, Empire of Dreams, Toronto artists On View at MOCCA. Group exhibition of work that the MOCCA Curators’ “ feel are the city’s most active and vital”. www.viewoncanadianart.com
2010 Godden, Sky. “Empire of Dreams: City Sounds”, Canadian Art Magazine on line, June.
2010 Liss, David. Empire of Dreams: The Phenomenology of the Built Environment, catalogue essay. MOCCA, Toronto. Fall.
2010 Yvonne Lammerich Viva Las Vegas, Review of DaDa Delirium, MacLarenArt Centre, Canadian Art Magazine, Summer
2010 Blenkhorn, Leigh. Review of DaDa Delirium, MacLaren Art Centre, Barrie Advance, May.
2010 Hollindaze. Janet Jones @ Peak Gallery, A Las Vegas of the Mind. http://.worldpress.com/tag/feminist-art/
2009 Dault, Gary Micheal, A Las Vegas of the Mind, Peak Gallery, Globe & Mail,Sept. 19
2007 Tenhaaf, Nell.“Review DaDa Flow, Peak Gallery, Canadian Art, September issue.
2006 Dault, Gary Micheal “DaDa Flow, Peak Gallery, Globe and Mail,
2004 CBC Arts News. “Canadian Exhibit Challenges European Conventions”, March 18.
2004 Dault, Gary Micheal. “The Irony of Really Big Expectations” Globe and Mail, July 3.
2003 Elke Kustner. “Ironie verbindet. Erfurt: Neun kanadische Kunstler” Thurginger Allgemeine, Erfurt, Germany, July 5.
2003 Obst, Sylvia, “Kanadish Gegenwartskunst wird ihrem Titel gerecht:”The Ironic Turn”, Ostthuringer Zeitung, Erfurt, Germany.
2003 Fiedler,Peter “Sie sagen am Ast, auf dem sie sitzen”, Eifenache Presse, Thuringer, Germany. Saturday, July 5.