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Mary Jones

b. Granite Hills, NC


Writing about painting in a New Yorker review, critic Peter Schjeldahl says, “No other medium can as yet so directly combine vision and touch to express what it’s like to have a particular mind, with its singular troubles and glories, in a particular body.”


This seems especially relevant to me.


I rely on process and layering to invite a psychological reading, at the edge of my control, that haptically connects to a shared consciousness. My paintings find fragments of recognizable form through an intuitive process of layered abstraction. They’re heavily worked and, along with courting improvisation and spontaneity, I’ve begun to embrace metaphors of biography as part of the content. It’s a physical process and reinforces a bodily connection; scraping, sanding, collage, industrial spray paint and house paint rollers are all utilized, embedding the motions, ghosts, construction and destruction that each painting undergoes as part of the facture.


The colors refer to earth, clay, and sky, but the natural color is jolted with the synthetic fluorescent orange of industry. I use commercial paint rollers and spray paint to simultaneously reference both the gesture of making a mark and its erasure to signify one’s individuation. This double function not only charts my movement across the canvas but also represents a cancellation, a ground for a new beginning, in the way that graffiti is painted out with primer on an urban wall.

In a series of works on paper, I repurpose--through collage--the stencils that I made as tools for paintings 15 years ago. These are worn, spattered with paint, and fully representative of their studio function and history. As with the roller works, the repurposed stencils cover my gestures, a reversal of their original function. I work to make a syntheses of the old and new, a literal layering of history. And the process has recently expanded. I’m using a trove of X-rays from my late in-laws. These paintings are constructed as portraits so that another kind of reversal is created--the experience of seeing the inside of someone first. The X-rays also mask the abstraction behind the images. There’s a confrontation with the transgressive technological infiltration into our lives and the radiation we submit to for all kinds of reasons.


Through process, the sense of the hand and the archeology of time and materials can bring painter and viewer together in an act that enlivens imagination. The work becomes a kind of biography.



MFA, BFA, University of Colorado, Boulder



"Interior Design, Pt. 1," Steffany Martz, NYC

“Body Transfer," SVA Flatiron Gallery (with Ariane Lopez-Huici), NYC


“Attachments,” High Noon, NYC


“Travel Light,” High Noon, NYC


“Conversation,” Hudson Guild Gallery, (with Denise Adler), Hudson, NY


John Molloy Gallery, NYC


Studio 7D, NYC


“Floating Explosions” The George Gallery, Laguna Beach, Ca. (with Bobbie Oliver)


Jancar Gallery, Los Angeles, CA


Jancar Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

Robert Green Fine Arts, Mill Valley, CA


Cenci Gallery, Rome, Italy


Jeffrey Coploff Fine Art, NYC


Robert Green Fine Arts, Mill Valley, CA


“Bower of Bliss” Cynthia Broan, NYC (with Mary Beth Gregg)


Jeffrey Coploff Fine Art, NYC

Robert Green Fine Arts, Mill Valley, CA


Jeffrey Coploff Fine Art, NYC


Bill Maynes Gallery, NYC


Tom Cugliani Gallery, NYC

Ovsey Gallery, Los Angeles, CA. 1989, 1988, 1986, 1985, 1983


Hanes Art Center, Chapel Hill, North Carolina



Faculty Biennial, RISD Museum, Providence, R. I.


“Divine Intervention,” curated by Teri Hackett, Christ Episcopal Church, Sag Harbor, NY


“Incise, Echo and Repeat,” curated by Camilia Fallon and Kylie Heidenheimer, NYC


“Music for your Ears,” OCCCA, Newport, Ca., curated by Peter Frank


“3 Days at Custom Cabinets,” LA, Ca.


“Friends of the Gallery,” Mitchell Algus Gallery, NYC

The Painted Desert, High Noon, NYC

Alternative Facts, curated by Denise Adler, Pleiades Gallery, NYC 

Holding it Together, curated by Teri Hackett, Brooklyn, NY


Future Past Perfect, MS Barbers Gallery, Curated by Lauren Comito, Los Angeles, CA


Future Past Perfect, Projekt 722, Curated by Lauren Comito, Brooklyn, NY

Repose, Hall St. Projects, Curated by Hovey Brock, Brooklyn, NY

Phase III, Mammal Gallery, Atlanta, GA


Cultural Guerrillas, Hudson Guild, Curated by Denise Adler, New York, NY

Nature Doesn't Knock, The George Gallery, Laguna Beach, CA


Flux/Quirk, The George Gallery, Laguna Beach, CA

Elven@7D, studio 7D, Curated by Allen Furbeck, New York, NY

Little Languages, Coded Pictures, Kathryn Markel Fine Arts, New York, NY


Between the Two: Six Artists from New York, The George Gallery, Laguna Beach, CA


Haywire, Storefront, Bushwick, NY

Paper A-Z, Sue Scott Gallery, New York, NY

Neo-Vitruvian: The Body Now, curated by Richard J. Goldstein, Hal Bromm gallery, New York, NY



Williams Studio Art Faculty Exhibition, Williams College Museum of Art, Williamstown, MA


Works on Paper, Michael Steinberg Fine Art, New York, NY



Diving in the Decadent Ditch of Des Essientes, New York, NY

Dutch Barn Show, Clinton Corners, NY



Timelines, Signal 66, Washington, D.C.



Landscape, Lindsey Brown, New York, NY



Four Painters, Lindsey Brown, New York, NY

Works on Paper, Jeffrey Coploff Fine Art, New York, NY



Group Show, Jeffrey Coploff Fine Art, New York, NY

Le Salon, London, England


Immediacies of the Hand, Hunter College, New York, NY



Baroque Geometry, Marlborough Gallery, Chelsea, NY

Jeffrey Coploff Fine Art, NYC

485.73482 Cycles per/sec, 76 Varick, New York, NY



Summer Invitational, Steffany Martz, New York, NY

Push, 450 B'way Gallery, New York, NY

Stellar Spectra, Mary Barone, New York, NY

The Enduring Presence, Roland Gibson Gallery, SUNY, Potsdam, NY



The Enduring Presence, Ewing Gallery, U. Of Tenn., Knoxville, TN



Group show, Kasmin Gallery, New York, NY



Small Abstract Painting, Bill Maynes Gallery, New York, NY


The Broad Art Foundation, Los Angeles

George and Betty Woodman, NYC John Guest Ltd. (London)

Security Pacific Bank, Los Angeles

Celebrity Cruises art collection

Prudential Life

Wells Fargo Bank

The Carnation Company


Goldner, Liz, “Nature Doesn’t Knock,"

Frank, Peter, 1/02/2013

Chapline, Jonathan, 

Estenger, Max, In The Studio with Mary Jones, May 26, 2012

Kienholz, Lyn. “L.A. Rising: SoCal Artists before 1980,” The California/International Arts Foundation 2010

Mallinson, Constance. Art in America, review, May 2007

Frank, Peter. “Addition/Reduction,” Mary Jones LA Weekly Wed. January 10, 2007

Chang, Richard. ARTnews, review, June 2007

Pagel, David. Los Angeles Times, Friday, Dec. 22, December 2006

Jashinsky, Judy. “time lines,” catalogue, 2003

Garwood, Deborah. “Bower of Bliss,” catalogue, 2002

Yablonsky, Linda. “Mary Jones,” catalogue, 2002

Bourbon, Matthew. NY Arts, “Mary Jones,” review, Feb. 2000

Sheets, Hilarie M. ARTnews, “Mary Jones,” review, June, 2000

Johnson, Ken. NY Times, “Baroque Geometry,” Friday, Jan. 8, 1999

Cotter, Holland. NY Times, “Immediacies of the Hand,” Friday, April 9, 1999

Smith, Roberta. NY Times, "Hothouse" review, Friday, Sept. 6, 1996

Drier, Deborah. "Vision At Sea," catalogue, 1996

Barrett, Chris. "Happy Chaos," Metro Pulse (Tennessee) 1996

Mills, Dan. "The Enduring Presence," catalogue, 1996

Hirsch, Faye. “Mary Jones: Color Sense,” catalogue, 1995

Saltz, Jerry. Art in America, "A Year in the Life" Oct. 1994

Smith, Roberta. New York Times, "Review" Friday, Dec. 10, 1993

Frank, Peter. LA Weekly, "Art Pick of the Week" Friday, Dec. 8, 1989

Curtis, Cathy. Los Angeles Times, Calendar Galleries Friday, Nov. 24, 1989

Pincus, Robert L. Art in America, "Mary Jones At Ovsey" Sept. 1988

Donahue, Marlene. Los Angeles Times, Friday, Feb. 26, 1988, Part IV

McKenna, Kristine. Los Angeles Times, Friday, Sept. 26, 1986 Part IV

McCloud, Janet. ARTWEEK, "An Integration of Opposites," March 9, 1985

Muchnic, Suzanne. Los Angeles Times, Friday, March 1, 1985 Part IV

Pincus, Robert L. Los Angeles Times, Friday, Oct. 21, 1985

Christenberry, William. ARTFORUM, "Directions, 1983" Oct. 1983

Silverthorne, Jeanne. ARTFORUM, Oct. 1983

Ashbery, John. Newsweek, "Biennials Bloom In The Spring"

Fleming, Lee. Images & Issues, "What's At Issue Is The Issue" Sept/Oct 1983

Knight, Christopher. Los Angeles Herald Examiner, "California Living-Art Inc."

Drohojowska, Hunter. Los Angeles Herald Examiner, "Making Art In The M-Zone", June 20, 1982

Knight, Christopher. Los Angeles Herald Examiner, "Mary Jones: Art That Runs Silent, Runs Deep,” April 11, 1982

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