Allen Jones RA (b. 1937) was born in Southampton. He studied at the Hornsey College of Art, London, graduating in 1959 when he began attending the Royal College of Art. In 1961 Jones, along with Derek Boshier, David Hockney, Ron Kitaj, and Peter Phillips, was included in the Young Contemporaries at the RBA (Royal Society of British Artists) Galleries. It was in this exhibition that British Pop art appeared in force for the first time and made an impact on the public.
In 1964, Jones and his close friend Peter Phillips moved to the United States and spent two years travelling around the country. In New York he discovered a rich source of inspiration in illustrations from publications of the 1940s and ‘50s, images that were outside the accepted canons of artistic expression, and suggested new ways of depicting the human figure.
Works by Jones are held by the Tate, the Museum Ludwig, Cologne, and the Hirshhorn Museum, Washington, D.C., and in 1963 he was awarded the Prix des Jeunes Artistes at the Paris Biennale. In late 2014 he was the subject of the major exhibition Allen Jones RA at the Royal Academy (where he is a Senior Academician). It traced themes through the artist’s career, revealing ‘a visual language fusing painterly tradition with the iconography of city life, theatre, and advertising – a language inspired by American consumer culture and the crisp graphics of Warhol and Lichtenstein.’ Further, Jones’ work was described as ‘sometimes provocative, always striking, and charged with the energy and vitality of human life.’.
- Richard Wolfe