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The Red City

Peter Ashton Jones

Exhibition: 19 Nov - 18 Dec 2021

Standpoint Gallery presented ‘The Red City’, a selection of new paintings by Peter Ashton Jones.

‘The Red City’ comprised of works made between the lockdowns of March 2020 and April 2021. Two central motifs repeatedly appeared in the paintings: a large red building and a wooden spinning top, representing an idea of ‘the world’ that seems static and off its axis.

Ashton Jones made a conscious decision to separate ‘the picture’ and ‘the painting’, while simultaneously joining the two in order to find a local habitation, a domain that captured a suspension of cognitive life and an acute sense of existential detachment.

Various visual references abound in Ashton Jones’s paintings. ‘The Spirit Levels’ refer to distance, detachment and anonymity. ‘A Collection of Maps’ alludes to finding a path within unknown territorial boundaries, while ‘The Scriptorium’ and ‘The Tape Measure’ articulate metaphysical ideas about the relationship between the painter and the world of The Red City.

Ashton Jones’s practice is deeply informed by contemporary debates around painting and ‘The Red City’ refers to ideas prevalent in previous exhibitions by the painter: containment and specificity from ‘The Eye of The Blackbird’ (Standpoint Gallery, 2011); Schiller’s ideas about direct and reflective engagement from ‘Naïve and Sentimental Painting’ (Eagle Gallery/Emma Hill Fine Art, 2018); and a fiction-realism tug of war in ‘Blind Man’s Buff’ (Charlie Smith Gallery, 2018).

Peter Ashton Jones studied painting at Kingston University London (1987). Solo exhibitions include The Notebook, Mayor’s Parlour Gallery, London, The Eye of the Blackbird, Standpoint Gallery, London and Feasting Indoors, V22, London. Recent group shows include Part II: The Turning World (curated by Zavier Ellis) Charlie Smith, London and The Good, The Bad and The Ugly (curated by Kiera Bennett & Alex Gene Morrison) Charlie Smith, London. Ashton Jones is a co-founder of Turps Banana magazine and curator of a number of notable exhibitions for the Nunnery and Lion and Lamb galleries.