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Alex Jones - Art through language and forms.

Updated: May 1

This week, we are excited to share our interview with Alex Jones, the artist who explores the blending of written and material language in painting, emphasizing visual construction over communication. Alex uses linguistic architecture and formal structures to achieve neutrality, treating language as a building material rather than conveying meaning. Syntax and text arrangements serve as forms, while pauses in speech inspire frame pieces. The artist challenges viewers to see language not for its message but for its arrangement, highlighting that words are lines and marks with significance when organized in a particular way!

Read the full interview below to unravel all the details about his art.

Can you share with us your artistic journey and how you arrived at your current style and technique using acrylics on canvas? 

I studied sculpture and initially made sculptural work but as certain themes and ideas around the  use of language as a construction material emerged, a flat surface seemed more suitable. The use  of paint on canvas makes use of an established dialect of art making, I wanted something to act  as an ‘art’ base onto which I could construct language. There isn’t much more commonly associated with art making than a canvas.  

You mentioned aiming for a kind of neutrality within your images by stripping language of its communicative purpose. How do you navigate the balance between linguistic and material elements to achieve this neutrality? 

It’s important for me to retain a certain balance of distance from any communicated image within the language used but also use language in a broad sense so as to not inadvertently create some overriding poetic or narrative sensibility within the phrases used. Some of the linguistic constructions may seem very loaded or poignant. I’m fine with this but I also balance it with some that seem more mundane. This even distribution for me helps work towards some kind of neutrality. The font I designed for the works has a fixed size and footprint ratio so kerning is always equal no matter what words are constructed, making the arrangement seem more solid and even, giving the words a more universal visual appearance.  

Can you discuss the significance of color, particularly the use of blue frames, within your compositions? How do these color choices contribute to the formation of a distinct visual language within your work? 

I primarily work with a limited color palette with occasional variations that are used to create punctuations in the overall work. The pink, yellow, and blue came from observing building materials, bags of cement, and plasterboard. As I was using language as a construction material I  felt it suitable to take colors for the work from the world of building materials.  

How do you see your work in conversation with broader artistic movements or philosophies, such as conceptual art or semiotics? 

Certain philosophical views interest me, although I may not fully understand them. I’ve been reading into nihilism and cynicism recently and while not all aspects of their thinking permeate the work, certain ideas around a lack of meaning or need for understanding draw parallel with my intentions. 

Could you share any specific influences or inspirations that have shaped your approach to language and visual construction within painting? 

There are classic text-based artists whose work I admire, such as Ed Rusha and Lawrence Weiner.  Both of them standardized their fonts. The creation of my two typefaces was a huge step for me in giving a consistent element within the work.  

What do you hope viewers take away from experiencing your artwork, particularly in terms of their perception of language and its role within visual art? 

It's not my place to impose any thoughts or feelings on any viewer. Maybe they find it sweet and poetic, maybe it makes them laugh, maybe it confuses them. I haven’t given much thought to how the viewer may perceive it.  

Any upcoming projects? 

A couple of group shows in Brighton. One of which is at Tichborne Projects, which is a sporadic curatorial project space I run in the center of Brighton. 


Photographs copywrites belong to Alex Jones.

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