NEW CANAAN, CONN.-
Jennie C. Jones: RPM (revolutions per minute) brings together newly commissioned audio collages and works on paper that extend the artists ongoing engagement with visual and sonic abstraction. Throughout her work, Jones has mined histories of American Modernismfocusing on Minimalism, avant-garde music, and their corresponding cultural, social and political shiftsin order to highlight the unlikely alliances that emerge among them. Jones describes this approach as listening as a conceptual practice.
For this commission, Jones inserts two site-responsive audio collages into the Philip Johnsondesigned Glass House
(1949) and Sculpture Gallery (1970). In the Glass House, the artists durational intervention employs a harmonious combination of solfeggio frequencies that encourages visitors to consider the aural environment of the transparent pavilion. In the Sculpture Gallery, the aforementioned sound carries over as an undertone and is transformed by a counterpoint of predominantly black sonic practices from the year 1970, including Alice Coltrane, Milford Graves, and Yusef Lateef. This work climbs into a crescendo of sound before spiraling back down to the soft tone at the start of the piece, sonically echoing the gallerys interior patterning of light and winding staircases. To complement the audio collages, Jones has created a series of new works on paper on view in the Painting Gallery (1964). She will also produce a limited edition 45 RPM vinyl record containing the sound works from both buildings.
In these works, Jones opens a dialogue by integrating the modernist histories embedded in the Glass House site and music by artists whose work reflects social and political issues of that same period. By layering radical music over Johnsons unconventional architectural experiments, Jones points to a more expansive history of abstraction than has been generally acknowledgedone that includes voices that had been largely excluded.
Jennie C. Jones: RPM is commissioned by The Glass House, a site of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and curated by Cole Akers.
The exhibition is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts. In-kind support is provided by Bang & Olufsen.
Jennie C. Jones (b. 1968, Cincinnati, Ohio) attended The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University, and Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. She has had solo exhibitions at the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston; Atlanta Contemporary Art Center; Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco; The Kitchen, New York; and The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C. She is the recipient of The William H. Johnson Prize, the Studio Museum in Harlems Joyce Alexander Wein Artist Prize, a Joan Mitchell Foundation Grant, and a Robert Rauschenberg Award from The Foundation for Contemporary Arts.