PATRICK MIKHAIL GALLERY IN MONTRÉAL PRESENTS “THE DREAM MACHINE" AN EXHIBITION OF NEW WORKS BY TORONTO PAINTER JANET JONES
THE DREAM MACHINE
OCTOBER 21 TO NOVEMBER 30, 2017
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 21, 2017
2 P.M. TO 5 P.M.
In her new solo exhibition THE DREAM MACHINE at PATRICK MIKHAIL GALLERYin Montréal, Toronto artist JANET JONES continues her interest in the present—the social, political, psychological “feel” of experiencing now. She often begins her work by roaming the urban environment and observing what she sees until it triggers a connection. It is these everyday sightings that Jones presents as signs of our present hybrid, global world—the zeitgeist of our time.
In The Dream Machine, Jones presents a series of new paintings and photograms inspired by this experiential phase of her work—where she links theories to practice and discovers the seeds of her next projects. She begins the process of making work by finding discarded consumerist products on the streets, or through chance encounters at Value Village or Dollarama for example. In her daily life, she is always on the lookout for materials to re-claim, reuse, and transform.
Jones first developed this way of working in the series of new photograms entitled “Space Junk” (2016-2017)—a group of large, analogue, silver prints done in the darkroom by arranging these collected, found objects on photo-paper and exposing them to light. The “historical” process is the same one used in the earliest photograms by Man Ray and Moholy-Nagy.
Jones then recycled these materials in the exhibition’s paintings, covering the objects with paint and printing with them or using them as stencils that are sprayed around or through. Her desire is to build up an abstract, open web of meanings that suggest our complex, fragile, and transitory reality.
The Dream Machine alludes to Jones’ interest in the contending ideas of utopia/dystopia gained by being a close observer of the present and her past personal history: an extended research trip to Moscow and St. Petersburg and across Sibera via the trans-Siberian railway in 1992, a few months after the collapse of the Soviet Union; an artist residency at the Bauhaus in Weimer, Germany; and a road trip through middle America in 2009, right after the economic collapse. These were all experiences that led her to contemplate past/present utopian dreams and their eventual decay. In this exhibition, the formal qualities, materials, and processes—both in the paintings and photograms—connote this changing zeitgeist. What is the “machine” that creates these dreams? Why do we change our dreams? What will be our future “utopia?”
Janet Jones is a Toronto-based painter whose work has been exhibited across Canada, in Los Angeles, New York, England, Germany, France and China. She was born in Montréal, Québec and 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. She received her MFA from York University where she received the prestigious Samual Sarrick Purchase Award for outstanding studio work. Jones then received 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. 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.
She is currently a Professor in the Department of Visual Arts at York University in Toronto, where she is Head of the Painting Area. She has been Chair of the Department of Visual Arts (2006-09), and Director of the MFA Program in Visual Arts (1997-2000).