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Estimate: $ 3,000 - $ 5,000
BEN F. JONES (1941 - ) Black Universe.
Mixed media of acrylic, ink and sticker decals on paper, 1970. 444x292 mm; 40x30 inches. Signed and dated "12/70" in ink, lower right.
Provenance: the Johnson Publishing Company, Inc., Chicago.
This bold work is a scarce mid-career example of Ben Jones' artwork which celebrates beauty, spiritualism, dance and music in African and African-American culture. Jones used flourescent colors, sequins, dots and gold star stickers throughout his early paintings and installations. He combined the symbolism of icon painting with the bejewelled look of dance queens - a theme that he first developed in his 1970 painting, The High Priestess of Soul. His 2009 retrospective at the Jersey City Museum of Art, Deliverance, featured a complete survey of this New Jersey artist's work. Jones is best known for his iconic Black Face and Arm Unit, from 1971, now in the permanent collection of the State Museum of New Jersey in Trenton. His 1970 Five Black Face Images also illustrated the front cover of Elsa Honig Fine's 1973 historical survey The Afro-American Artist.