14 March - 11 April 1998
Ronald Jones' exhibition at Metro Pictures, his first since the gallery's move to Chelsea, features sculptural versions of furniture with historical associations: the bed Neil Armstrong slept in his first evening back from the moon, the bed Jack Ruby slept in the night before he shot Lee Harvey Oswald, the chair where Dorothy Kilgallen sat as she interviewed Jack Ruby shortly before she mysteriously died, and the bed that Ethel Rosenberg slept in the night before she was executed. All of the objects have been scaled for toddlers and produced from photographic documentation.
Jones has used furniture throughout his work as abstract form, familiar functional object and symbol of a specific context. His first exhibition at Metro Pictures in 1987 presented a set of tables from the proposed designs for the Vietnam peace conference. Other such works include a bookcase from the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam, a table from a triptych by Hieronymus Bosch, and the chair where a death row inmate sat to eat his last meal.
Jones has written of the current exhibition, "Innocence, starkly juxtaposed to the inevitability of tragedy and whimsical madness are among the ensemble of themes told by a nursery rhyme written for the exhibition that begins:
Newspaper reporters are the curious type.
They will look from here to there-
just about anywhere
to dig up the news we should know about!"
In addition to exhibitions at galleries and museums, Jones has conceived garden projects including the design and execution of Pritzker Park in Chicago, the Rethymnon Centre of Contemporary Art in Crete, and the Botanical Gardens in Curitiba, Brazil. Jones writes art criticism and lectures extensively.