Everywhere and Elsewhere 1, October 2015
St. Louis Community College--Meramec Campus
Review in ALL THE ART, Spring 2016, Pages 7-8:
TOOLSHED -- the art work of Howard Jones
WHEN: Jan 10, 2014 to Jan 29, 2014
WHAT: SOHA Studio & Gallery present TOOLSHED, the art of Howard
WHY: Howard Jones is one of the best regarded artists in St. Louis, and is arguably the pre-eminent teacher of art in our region. His influence on the local art scene, both through his work and through a generation of teaching fine art at Washington University and John Burroughs School, is profound. ARTIST STATEMENT: “It has been everyday objects that interest me, objects common only because they have been refined over time and served us so nobly. I know these objects well, and have used many of them as first intended. I imagine a use for them in keeping with their original purpose, yet more mysterious.”
TOOLSHED Sculpture Exhibit by Howard Jones at SOHA Studio and Gallery
Meditation in a Toolshed: Howard Jones and the art of non-commodification
“TOOLSHED: Sculpture by Howard Jones” is the sort of installation we might have seen at a pre-Reagan-era East Village gallery, before the property values skyrocketed and the trust fund babies moved in. Jones’s work is new, it’s visionary, and it’s incongruous; in short, it’s not going to appeal to every taste.
Jones’s sculptures, 61 in total, are singular items seamlessly conjoined from everyday objects, sometimes related (“Heel,” for example, joins a pair of chic ladies’ pumps into a single awkwardly elegant construction) and other times seemingly accidental (as in “Stone Hearth Chair,” the juxtaposition of a carved parlor chair and stacked hearthstones). To see the potential in such commonplace objects as hacksaws and pine cones takes a very special vision, but Jones's "hybridization" of the components in his sculptures also requires no small amount of skill.
Each piece, in fact, looks as though it was manufactured originally to be precisely what it is and nothing else. No cobbled together amalgam in Howard Jones’s toolshed! Every sculpture somehow exudes the right to occupy the space around it, each possessing the strange beauty and presence of a Hieronymus Bosch painting rather than the surreal relativity of, say, Dali’s melting clocks. In his artist’s statement for the show, Jones affirms that his interest lies in “objects common in their description only because they have been refined over time and served so nobly. I know these objects well, and have used many of them as first intended. I imagine a use for them in keeping with their original purpose, yet more specific." So specific, in fact, that each piece is unique. While one of Jones’s sculptures may, occasionally, resemble another (the series of brushes, "Thorn Brush," "Grass Brush," "Root Brush," and "Catalpa Brush," for example), no two constructions are ever alike, nor could they be.