For her fourth solo show at Anton Kern Gallery, British photographer Sarah Jones presents twenty-one new images from her Cabinet, Vitrine, Rose Gardens, and Horse series. They are immersed in the deep black tone of highly saturated C-prints, many made from black-and-white negatives, and strike a distinct note between straight un-manipulated documents and profoundly emotive image inventions. Following on from the recent publication of her monograph by Violette Editions as well as her one-person exhibition at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Jones’ new photographs continue to explore how subjects are measured and transcribed through the large format view camera and flattened in pictorial space.
Over the years themes such as the analyst’s couch, the municipal rose garden as still life in-situ, the drawing studio and the singular female subject have been central to her concerns. Her photographs are often made on location and illuminated with carefully controlled lighting that allows the subject to both emerge from and recede into a darkened space. Through the use of analogue techniques Jones studies the correspondence between the skein of the film, the surface of the photographic print and the surface of her subjects. For Jones this attention to materiality brings to mind the act of mark making in drawing.
Jones has previously used the diptych as a formal device and direct reference to early stereographic photographs in order to present two perspectives of a single form. The recent diptychs consider the act of doubling and the alchemic nature of the photographic process by literally flipping an image. One becomes an imprint or reflection of the other recalling the Rorschach inkblot. In such an act of mirroring, Cabinet (II) (After Man Ray) (I) and (II) picture a curved glass object that recalls Man Ray's Le Violon d’Ingres, (1924). Other works in the exhibition reflect on the photographic language of Florence Henri, Karl Blossfeldt and Eugene Atget.