When discussing his work, Jeffrey Cortland Jones describes his near constant preoccupation with presenting reinterpretations of forms, objects, and colors as optical exercises. These optical exercises serve to see things in ways that others—primarily his viewers who are not artists themselves—may otherwise take for granted, and to teach these others to see these things anew. Within these exercises, he works to explore the dynamics expressed between numerous different binaries: light and dark, matte and gloss, organic and geometric forms. The result of these explorations manifests themselves on his panels; some of the forms contained within—stacks of polygonal shapes, squares, and blocks—create a tension between each other. They seem to struggle for purchase, and some feel as if they are on the verge of toppling over; the work is geometric, and yet, not quite. Nothing is actually as orderly as it may have first appeared.
The work is typically small-scaled, none of the paintings exceed 36 inches in height, a vehicle Cortland Jones uses to create a whole and singular, personal experience. The palette is nearly monochromatic, but upon closer examination, the panels reveal their secrets—while a passage may appear white, it becomes clear that it was painted over a pale yellow or a bright, aqua blue. Passages appear matte and brushed over, but some hide traces of the glossy acrylic panel that lies below. The subtlety of Cortland Jones’ work belies its pictorial impact; impact which discloses itself to those viewers who opt to examine the work most fully.
Jeffrey Cortland Jones lives and works in Cincinnati, OH. He received his MFA from the University of Cincinnati in 2000 and is currently a professor of visual arts at the University of Dayton. He has shown his work in numerous galleries and non-profit spaces across the nation. Recently, his work was featured on the online curatorial project Geoform. Cortland Jones also curates a temporary and mobile exhibition and project space called No Future Projects.