Reading

Review of Robert Sparrow Jones at McDaniel College by Pamela Zappardino

Previous Story

TASK at the University of Maryland, College Park

Next Story

Pics from Bill Schmidt Opening March 22

Photobucket

“Take time to appreciate Jones’ works in Exhibit” By Pamela Zappardino, Art Critic

“About a Hundred Things I Forgot,” at McDaniel’s Rice Gallery, is a very unusual exhibit that doesn’t seem like it should be. The subtitle: “Figure Paintings” might lead you to expect an emphasis on those figures. Robert Jones has some other ideas.

Figures are integral, embedded in brushstroked scene, figure and ground, subtle and striking. While foreground figures draw initial attention, a closer look reveals others emerging from context, clear one moment, hazy the next; surrealism where representation is hinted. Jones’ style intrigues, never letting you relax, keeping you searching.

His palette is unsettling, especially when he works in pastels. Pale coral and robin’s egg blue mix with ochres and greens, figures drawn in the same hues, abstracting while not quite. “The Mighty Have Fallen” creates a somber mood despite the light colors. “Wonder’s” woman is tired, only a hint of her strength remaining in her eyes. Jones’ colors can be unexpected, not quite saturated, drawing you in to make them deepen. Oranges and reds, black and hunter are clearer, but still require the viewer to work with them to really see the painting.

Photobucket

Jones’ brushstrokes are important. He paints vertically, starting above and ending below the canvas, diluted colors dripping like a curtain in front of images. His strokes are rough, as if his brush were old and not quite clean from its last painting, giving his work a raw feel and an energy that is palpable, a sense that something has gone before and will come after this moment in time.

“Limes” is green and saffron touched with gold, young girls barefoot in front of windowed doors, autumn hues at early morning or just at twilight, sun slanted warm, coming aware, possibilities endless. Coming of age moves indoors as a waiflike girl stands solid in a vortex, waiting for what comes next in “The First There Was A Hare.”

The “Truffle Hunt” is complex. Lions blend into grassland, orange and red, brown and green while a young girl moves across our view, unaware or unconcerned. Look deep and a man appears, at first part lion, then on his own amidst them. Reality, dream, subconscious wonderings? It is left to us to decide.

Photobucket

“Forest Morels” is wonderfully composed, saturated colors still hiding details of friends, one white, one black on bright blue bikes. Jones perspective is right on in “Sparrow Point,” two women, one older, aging house behind – or are they the same woman moved through time?

Don’t be too quick with Jones’ work. Walk around more than once. It will meet you in a place where time suspends and things you forgot come home.

Related Stories
The Month-Long Festival Closes May 31

Visual artists, business owners, musicians, performers, and so very much excellent food from the APIMEDA (Asian, Pacific Islander, Middle Eastern and Desi American) communities are annually featured in a series of tours, events, and exhibitions. 

Johab Silva's "Tales of the New World" at MoCA Arlington

Silva’s subject is nothing less than the global cataclysm we find ourselves in—from the lingering effects of colonization, to sustained war and genocide, environmental degradation, and rampant consumerism.

Baltimore art news updates from independent & regional media

New fiber art exhibition at the Renwick, The Phillips Collection 2024-25 exhibition schedule, BMA announces environmental initiatives, Charles Mason III, Preakness future, Everyman Theatre's "Midsummer," FPCT's upcoming season, Golden West, and MICA - News from local and independent media sources.

Preakness Photos by E. Brady Robinson

Along with weird horse names and laying a bet, the fashion at Preakness and other Triple Crown races is oddly traditional, a pageant of who's who in pastel suits, bowties, fancy hats, and floral dresses.