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Above the Artist at Work

Peter Jones a Life-time dedicated to Artistic Exploration

Sadly Peter died on the 18th of May 2008
just short of his 91st birthday
An obituary by Alexa Woolf can be found online in The Guardian
or as picture of the printed paper version from the 22nd of August

Peter Jones was born on 30th May 1917 in Mortlake and grew up in East Sheen, West London. During the 1930's he trained at the Richmond Art School. His first job was in a Display and Design Studio.

As a youngster, Peter Jones was fascinated by aeroplanes, buying and collecting magazines on the subject. His love of planes and flying was realised when during World War II he joined the Royal Air Force and was seconded to the ATA Service, where he was required to collect all types of planes from wherever they were built, repaired or stationed, and deliver them to where they were needed. He was often presented with new planes that he had never flown before, having to learn how “on the go”, reading from a manual. This is where his adult love and fascination for planes was secured, developing an awe of their sheer power, which is evident in his vibrant paintings of them. Despite the rigours of war, the lack of time or space, and his dedication and commitment to the tasks he was charged with, Peter Jones never abandoned his craft during this turbulent period, snatching precious moments for his art work. Very little survives from this period, although there is a notable collection of woodcuts illustrating a poem about St. Francis.

After the war he became involved with "The Moderns", a group of artists formed around Jack Bilbo, a champion of new art at the time. For several years he worked for the Grosvenor Galleries, all the while creating his own drawings, paintings, collages and reliefs.

Peter Jones has built a successful artistic career, with his work appearing in many important collections. Even so, he remained a very private and retiring person. He has never sought the lime-light, but has produced a steady output of varied art work throughout a very long life. Even at the age of 90 and in frail health, he continued to experiment.

Peter Jones's Contribution to Tradition and Innovation in 20th Century British Art

Peter Jones is a committed and versatile artist, whose work has been shown widely through group and solo exhibitions. His bold and unique style, together with his mastery of all media across a variety of genres, is always thought-provoking.
Peter Jones's art can be wildly expressionistic with vibrant use of colour, often humorous as well as dark and intense. Some pastoral landscapes are transformed into semi-abstract luminous volumes within a cauldron of anti-realist colouring. He draws with lively, quirky lines 'to the point', able to capture the essence of a scene with a few concentrated lines. With his abstract work he explores the tightrope between balance/control and disequilibrium.

Above all Peter Jones imbues the ordinary, the ordinarily disregarded, even the drab, with its due significance. He amazes his audience with his portrayals of industrial scenes, road building works, diggers and cranes, agricultural structures, cars, road signs, telegraph and electricity wires, aircraft and dockyards. He manages to pull emotional punches which reveal attitudes towards this underbelly of our culture.

His art will be a record of 'the way things were once upon a time' for future generations.

Work by Peter Jones is to be found in many public and private collections, e.g.

H.M. Queen Elizabeth II
Victoria & Albert Museum (London)
Temple Newsam (Leeds)
South London Art Gallery
Nuffield College (Oxford)
London Borough of Camden

His work was widely exhibited in solo and group shows, especially from the 1960s to the 1980s:

South London Art Gallery
Mountbatten Gallery (Portsmouth)
Perth (Australia)
Royal Academy (London)
Royal Society of British Artists (London)
Redfern Gallery (London)
Gimpel Fils (London)
Grosvenor Gallery (London)
Camden Arts Centre (London)
Richard DeMarco (Edinburgh)

He has had special commissions for:

The Forestry Commission HQ - Mural (Suffolk)
Royal Free Hospital (London)
Nuffield College (Oxford)
Hampstead - Commemorative Sketches (London)
"Disappearing Wapping"

and his work has been reproduced and mentioned amongst others in:

The Moderns
Famous Nudes by Famous Artists
Art News and Review
Artists In Britain Since 1945 by David Buckman


Below Peter Jones at work on one of his computer generated pictures: