April 13, 2011 - MK Gallery - Gareth Jones
April 13, 2011

Gareth Jones

Gareth Jones
15 April–26 June 2011

14 April, 6–10pm
All welcome900 Midsummer Boulevard
Milton Keynes
+44 (0) 1908 676 900
info [​at​] mkgallery.org


British artist Gareth Jones (born 1965) presents his first major solo exhibition in a public gallery. Describing it as a ‘retrospective of new work,’ Jones returns to earlier projects and filters them through his experience of growing up in Milton Keynes. He describes the new city as ‘the most ambitious social project of its kind in the UK, a benchmark for Modernist architecture, progressive town planning and the radical ideals of the 1960s and 1970s.’

Often rooted in the minimalist aesthetic and utopian ambitions of the founding fathers of Milton Keynes, Jones’ work engages with the politics of identity and display, examining how images were used to generate ideals for future living. Jones’ fascination with the social vision that surrounded the formation of Milton Keynes leads him to test the fetishistic or iconic status of materials, from magazine pages and Fablon to polystyrene and stainless steel, while playing with the modular and serial construction techniques that inform the city’s famous design.

The exhibition at MK Gallery comprises three interconnected installations:the digital artwork New City, 2011, features publicity photographs commissioned by the Milton Keynes Development Corporation to sell the city to its future citizens; a series of sculptural variations on a 30 x 30 x 30cm cube—sliced, halved and opened—references the modular construction of Milton Keynes; and a single-room installation using a series of cigarette advertisements from 1970s colour supplements explores the politics of desire. Alongside the installations there will be a number of other works and events produced by Jones, including a talk series, a film programme and a closing event.

Considered as a whole, the exhibition represents a synthesis of Jones’ exploration of the social and cultural landscape of Milton Keynes in the 1970s, approached through memory and seen against the backdrop of political change. As such, inevitable tensions between ambitious formalism, social planning and historical reflexivity are exacerbated, and the buoyant optimism of an earlier era is uncompromisingly pitted against present realities.

Artist Information
Gareth Jones was born in 1965 and grew up in the new city of Milton Keynes. He studied fine art at Newcastle upon Tyne Polytechnic and has worked in London since the start of the 1990s. Group exhibitions have included British Art Show 6, touring, 2005, The Martian Museum of Terrestrial Art, Barbican Art Gallery, London, 2007, Room Divider, Wilkinson Gallery, London, 2010, Construction and its Shadow, Leeds City Art Gallery, 2010–11. Previous solo exhibitions include Seven Pages from a Magazine, Platform, London, 2002, Helmut Jacoby: Milton Keynes Drawings, 38 Langham Street, London, 2003, Cubitt Gallery, London, 2003. In 2006 he received a Paul Hamlyn Award for Visual Arts and in 2007 he made a new edition of The Picture of Dorian Gray for Four Corners Books. Gareth Jones is based in London.

Thurs 5 May: Derek Walker on the Milton Keynes Team
. A rare opportunity to hear Walker, Chief Architect and Planner of Milton Keynes (1970–76) speak about the original Milton Keynes design team.
Thurs 26 May: What about having our future back? Discussion between architectural critic Owen Hatherley, architect Derek Walker, and artists Liliane Lijn and Gareth Jones.
Thurs 9 June: Gareth Jones and Michael Bracewell in Conversation Jones discusses his work with writer, novelist and cultural commentator Michael Bracewell.
Tues 21 June (Summer Solstice): ‘Community in Art’ Participants include artists Boyd & Evans and Roger Kitchen, co-founder of The Living Archive.

A programme of films spanning the years 1944 to 1994, a fifty-year period that saw the emergence of the welfare state, the birth of Milton Keynes and the eventual dominance of neo-liberalism as an economic philosophy. Jones will introduce the series at the screening of Cabaret on 15 April .For full listings please visit MK Gallery’s website here.

Closing Event
24 June: On the final weekend of the exhibition Gareth Jones will introduce the screening of an additional work, specially produced for MK Gallery. Details to be announced.

MK Gallery receives core annual funding from Arts Council England and Milton Keynes Council.

Gareth Jones has received support from the National Lottery through Arts Council England and research funding from The Open University. With thanks to Milton Keynes City Discovery Centre and the Exhibition Circle of Friends.

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Further information
For press interviews, information or images please contact: Katharine Sorensen, Communications Director, MK Gallery. T: +44 (0)1908 558318 / E: ksorensen@mkgallery.org

Gareth Jones
MK Gallery
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