Martha T. Jones


Martha T. Jones, a resident of Williamsburg, VA, became a full-time artist after a career as a university instructor teaching courses in Greek and Roman language and culture at the College of William and Mary and elsewhere.

Jones was awarded a Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Fine Arts Fellowship for her painting in 2011.  The award was jurored by Alison De Lima Greene, Curator of Contemporary Art, Museum of Fine Arts Houston. Jones’ one-artist show, Big Pink Paintings: Abstract Paintings 2008-11 was featured in the VMFA Pauley Center Gallery during 2011.

The present exhibit at the Linda Matney Gallery includes paintings, sculptural assemblages and drawings.  The core of the exhibit consists of 8 large-scale paintings from 2013 and 4 from 2009 and 2011.   The show also includes 4 smaller oils from 2013 and earlier, 13 drawings from 2011-2013, 9 sculptural assemblages from 2012 and 2013 and three small-scale ceramic sculptures from 2012.   Four paintings in the Linda Matney Gallery show were exhibited in the 2011 VMFA Fellowship exhibit.

Jones refers to her newest series of paintings from 2013 as the Intersticism Project.  These paintings are distinguished by the underlying presence of a grid in the form of a whirlpool or spiral and by the use of a primary color scheme of red, yellow and blue that is complemented and held in harmony by the use of pink.  Forms appear to be floating in this framework; these forms can be read as bubbles, clouds, waving arms, flakes of snow or the faces of animals to name a few.   Jones uses the term intersticism to describe the process of bringing the tiny gaps created between bead-like elements of the spiral grid into a meaningful relation with the painting’s entire composition.

Jones’ artwork seeks to be fundamentally modern and at the same time draws on an understanding of the classical art of the ancient Mediterranean region.  Jones’ paintings are abstract and tend toward the large-scale; the color schemes that stress a pink form and a red line, the comic tone and the monumental scale of the work show the influence of the late work of the New York school painter Philip Guston and of other contemporary painters such as Carroll Dunham and Chris Johanson.  In her sculptures, Jones is interested in seeing what results when she puts together objects that refer to antiquity, to nature, to personal memory and to childhood in the context of newly antiquated technologies.