Allen Jones

Allen Jones RA is best known for his sexually motivated sculptures which brought an unique contribution to the British Pop Art movement in the 1960s. A student first at Hornsey College of Art, he then joined the alumni at the Royal College of Art, where his contemporaries were R. B. Kitaj, Peter Phillips, David Hockney and Derek Boshier. Jones was expelled from the RCA in 1960 for “excessive independence”, but this did little to harm his prospects.

Jones was deeply interested in the theories of Jung and Nietzsche, and he began to depict fused male/female couples in paintings as a metaphor for the creative act. He moved to New York in the mid-sixties, and there he discovered a tradition of erotic popular illustration from the 1940s and 1950s, of which he had previously been unaware. Inspired, any eroticism he wished to convey but had subdued, became more explicit from that point onwards and he developed a precise linear style to infer tactility.

The height of his Pop sensibility came with the creation of the now notorious sexually provocative fibreglass sculptures Chair, Table and Hat-Stand, three works of forniphilia of 1969 which turn women into items of human furniture. Much of his work by this time was concerned with the imagery of rubber fetishism and BDSM, and this continues to the present day. His pneumatic ladies strut about in leather, stockings and stiletto heels, both celebrating and parodying male fantasy.

The sculptures in the Korova Milk Bar from the 1971 film A Clockwork Orange were based on works by Jones after he turned down the request by Stanley Kubrick to design the set. Although becoming a successful designer for theatre, cinema and television, painting remained Jones' chief interest and his work has been celebrated in many exhibitions throughout the world.

Jones was elected R.A. (Royal Academician) by the Royal Academy in 1986.