By: Christina Tian Qu, Seraphin Gallery Intern
Edited By: Alyssa Laverda, Associate Director, Seraphin Gallery
Jennifer Jones’ triptych titled as a series of dates 06.17.2016, 06.23.2016, 07.04.2016, stands as a representational parade amidst the abstract works featured in this year’s Emerging Talent exhibition. Jones’ black and white landscapes depict a stark and austere wilderness; standing before these three large canvases, one is invited into the untamed oasis portrayed on raw canvas.
Incorporating natural materials into her compositions featuring landscapes, flora, and fauna, her work is reminiscent of a surveyor, with its precise sharp edges and clean transitions between subtle tonal differences that carve mountains, outpour water, and imply snow. The monochromatic palette of this immense landscape allows the viewer to engage in contemplative fantasy – filling in negative spaces with one’s imagination in a rich profession of natural wonder.
In part inspired by traditional Eastern landscape painting and calligraphy, Jones offers her depiction in a set of three panels. While each panel of the triptych is slightly different in size, with the left and middle panels slightly wider than the right panel, the three work interdependently to bring forth a rocky terrain over turgid streams. The left panel depicts larger, gently sloping mountainsides that lead to the center and right panels, where the rock texture grows more rigid and acute. The central horizon line links and spans across these three panels, aiding in the digestion and organization of this expansive vista. The negative spaces dispersed between the dark thick paint correspond with the sky in what is conceived as the background, which is also left blank-- creating a sense of harmony and closure to the frenzied and abnormal rhythms of rock and water.
In comparison with the color blocked works that share the gallery space with Jones’ landscape, this triptych engenders an earthier sensation that grounds the viewer into a physical reality. The juxtaposition of Jones’ work with the other works in the Emerging Talent exhibition marries the viewer’s conceptual senses with more tactile ones. The landscape transports the viewer into crisp mountain air and eviscerating sunlight gleaming off jagged granite surfaces, capturing a grand reflection of nature’s apex.
Jones recently earned her MFA degree from the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art this past Spring. She explains that her work is largely inspired by gardening, photography, and the wilderness. “Surrounded by plants and organic materials, I create process driven paintings, drawings, prints, and installations.” She uses dried plant matter, seed pods, earth, and tar “which speak to the subject matter and represent the work’s content.” Furthermore, she even uses plants as a brush to create delicate textures on her canvas. In regards to her latest series of work, Jones cites the project as an investigation of “the macro and the microscopic.” Her series which focus on mountains, glaciers, frozen water, and rocks assembles abstract and representational motifs that Jones hopes her viewers would use to “meditate on the complexities of nature and develop personal interpretations on a deeper level.”
In matters of personal interpretations, 06.17.2016, 06.23.2016, 07.04.2016 delivers an unconventional love letter to the genre of landscape painting. As one of the most magnetic parts of Seraphin Gallery’s Emerging Talent show, Jennifer Jones’ work creates a sanctum for the incomprehensible beauty of the natural world. These three canvases caress nature’s remoteness, its intricacies and vastness, enveloping the senses with the subtle gifts that only the earth can give.