Painter, printmaker and sculptor, born at Southampton. After studying at Hornsey College of Art, 1955–59, he entered the RCA in 1959, but was expelled in the following year for ‘excessive independence’. He subsequently taught in Germany, Canada, the UK, and the USA. Jones first came to prominence in the 1960s as a Pop artist, producing work notable for its erotic content derived from mainstream and fetishist sex magazines; his best known work in this line being the group of fibreglass figures of women in bondage gear, Hatstand, Table and Chair, which provoked moral outrage at its first showing in 1970. Jones’s first international exhibition was at the 1961 Paris Biennale where he gained the Prix des Jeunes Artistes. His first solo exhibition was at Arthur Tooth and Sons, London, 1963, and his first exhibition in the USA was at the Richard Feigen Gallery, New York, 1964, since which date he has had frequent solo exhibitions worldwide. He has had retrospectives in 1978 (graphics; ICA, London, then tour); 1979 (painting; Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool, then tour), 1998 (print; Barbican Centre, then tour) and 2014–15 (Royal Academy). He was elected ARA in 1981 and RA in 1986. His public sculptures include Tango, 1984, Festival Gardens, Liverpool (commissioned for the Liverpool International Garden Festival); Dancers, 1987, Cotton Centre, Hays Lane, Southwark; Acrobat 1992, Chelsea and Westminster Hospital; Two to Tango, 1997, Swire Properties, Hong Kong; Dejeuner sur l’herbe, 2000, Chatsworth; Acrobat, 2001, GlaxoSmithKline, Brentford; and Head in the Wind, 2019, Greenwich Peninsula.
Bibliography: D. Buckman, Artists in Britain since 1945 (2 vols: A–L, M–Z), Bristol, 2006; T. Cavanagh, Public Sculpture of Kensington and Chelsea with Westminster South-West, Watford, 2023, pp. 48–49; T. Cavanagh, Public Sculpture of Liverpool, Liverpool, 1997, pp. 62–63; T. Cavanagh, Public Sculpture of South London, Liverpool, 2007, pp. 199–200; A. Lambirth, Allen Jones. Works, London, 2005; The Sculpture Factory; Royal Academy of Arts website; Royal Academy of Arts, Allen Jones, 2014 (exh. cat.; 13 November 2014–25 January 2015); Who’s Who (online).
Terry Cavanagh November 2022