Ronald Jones

Ronald Jones

Grazer Kunstverein

Ronald Jones, Untitled (DAN Fragment from Human Chromosome 13 carrying Mutant Rb Genes also known as…), 1989. Bronze (black patina), 201.9 x 39.4 x 39.4 cm.*

September 19, 2014

Ronald Jones: 1987–1992
27 September–23 November 2014

Opening: 27 September, 15h,followed by a lecture performance by Jason Dodge

Grazer Kunstverein
Palais Trauttmansdorff
Burggasse 4
8010 Graz
Hours: Wednesday–Sunday 11–18h

T +43 (0) 316 83 41 41
F +43 (0) 316 83 41 42
office [​at​]

The Grazer Kunstverein’s continuous investigation into notions of social abstraction is carried further in response to the new “Leitmotiv” of the steirischer herbst 2014, which questions the notion of “sharing.” One’s solidarity always has limits when it comes to one’s own well-being. What one reveals dependents on the context and is often disguised within an accepted form. The Grazer Kunstverein explores these “accepted forms” through presenting conversations between various practitioners that each reveals a side that one is often unfamiliar with.

Ronald Jones: 1987–1992
The main exhibition is a solo presentation of the work of artist and critic Ronald Jones (b. 1952, United States) and is curated by artist Jason Dodge and Krist Gruijthuijsen, director of the Grazer Kunstverein. 

Ronald Jones gained prominence in New York during the mid-1980s by using disparate formal and minimal languages to explore history as a medium. Through juxtapositions of historical events, innovations, discoveries, violence and fear, he explores the complex interrelation of events as they define our perception of ourselves and the world often through connecting seemingly unrelated occurrences. His materials include Steven Biko’s interrogation room, the first artificial heart, collapse boards from a prison gallows, and parts of the Pan Am flight 103, which was destroyed by a terrorist attack over Lockerbie in Scotland. Jones’s works provoke the perception of minimalism and design by introducing didactic methodologies to undermine our understanding of autonomy.

An example of Jones’s unique relationship between content and form are his sculptures from 1988 that appropriate Brancusi’s sleek and elegant aesthetic, displaying sublime beauty in the form of amorphic bronze shapes poised on wooden pedestals. The historic reference is self-consciously mobilized in order to rupture high modernist legacy and any lingering effects. Jones’s forms turn out to be magnified cells related to cancer and the AIDS virus, making us hauntingly aware of the body by turning the sensual perceiver into a voyeur of death. 

The reconsideration and repositioning of the political, social and economical value of “the object”  has become rather topical in recent contemporary art production and therefore revisiting some of Jones’s pioneer work is necessary to continue this debate.    

This unique exhibition is Jones’s first since he withdrew as an artist by the mid-’90s and brings together a selection of works from the Lehmann Collection, Martin Kippenberger Collection and the Artelier Collection in Graz. 

The exhibition is accompanied by a publication edited by Jason Dodge, which reflects on most of Jones’s works in a personal and unusual manner. The publication is co-published and distributed by Motto Distribution.

The Members Library* presents
Elio Montanari
Quis Erudiet Without Documenta
Curated by November Paynter, Associate Director of Research and Programs, SALT, Istanbul

Following the exhibition Elio Montanari: One, No One and One Hundred Thousand at SALT Galata in Istanbul, the Grazer Kunstverein presents a selection of works by the Italian architect and photographer Elio Montanari (b. 1944, Ravenna). Elio Montanari independently photographed hundreds of artists producing, installing and rehearsing their works for major art events and exhibitions around the world from the early 1980s up until 2005. His exhaustive personal archive, housed in Fener in Istanbul, comprises over 500,000 negatives and diapositives, which capture intimate moments shared with artists forming their work while supported by assistants, curators and peers.

A majority of Montanari’s negatives have remained untouched for almost 30 years. His work offers an opportunity to assess the photographer—artist—curator relationships of a former era and how these adjusted over time; the physical energy and long commitment devoted to creative production and how these too have changed as new technologies take hold; and the role and canonical value of a document to satisfy the need for certitude.

Montanari’s first major solo exhibition One, No One and One Hundred Thousand at SALT Galata included sequences of photographs that exposed the concentration and passion of individual artists as they work towards one piece or an entire exhibition. Practitioners such as Matthew Barney, Pier Paolo Calzolari, Catherine David, Alanna Heiss, Janis Kounellis, Marisa Merz, Claes Oldenburg and Emilio Vedova are portrayed in an unusual manner, therefore revealing a compelling new side from within the context of art production.

The exhibition is accompanied by a publication which presents a selection of photographs by Montanari as well as essays by November Paynter and Catherine David. The publication is co-published by SALT, Grazer Kunstverein and Mousse Publishing.

*The Members Library is constructed and designed by artist Céline Condorelli in collaboration with Harry Thaler as a permanent work titled Things That Go Without Saying.

On display continuously 
The Peacock
1 February 2013–

A non-stop group show examining the interior of the Grazer Kunstverein by introducing (new) furniture, design, applied and decorative arts that analyze their own functionality. Each year The Peacock will have a specific narrator, who will provide a structural narrative to the works on display. Artist and writer Angie Keefer is invited to shape the storyline for 2014.

On display
27 September–23 November
Nina Beier, Jason Dodge, Felix Gonzáles-Torres*, Nicolás Paris, Daniel Santiago*, Will Stuart and Barbara Visser

* New additions

Ian Wilson
1 Feb 2013–

Please check our website for regular updates on our program. For further information, please contact office [​at​]

The exhibition of Ronald Jones is generously supported by IASPIS, Sweden, and Rachel and Jean-Pierre Lehmann. The shows of Ronald Jones and Elio Montanari are co-produced with steirischer herbst 2014.

Grazer Kunstverein is structurally supported by the city of Graz, the Austrian Federal Ministry for Education, Art and Culture, the province of Styria, Legero The Footwear Company and its members. 

*Image: Ronald Jones, Untitled (DAN Fragment from Human Chromosome 13 carrying Mutant Rb Genes also known as…), 1989. Bronze (black patina), 201.9 x 39.4 x 39.4 cm. Courtesy the artist and Lehmann Collection.


Ronald Jones at Grazer Kunstverein
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September 19, 2014

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