|JULES BUCK JONES
at Conduit Galley through june 20
by Todd Camplin
The city of Austin has a wild spirit and working in that culture is the artist Jules Buck Jones. This
year, he came up to Dallas and turned Conduit Galley into an imaginative wonderland of
wild animals and chaotic plants. Only the formal element of framing his work, pulled me out
of his dream. But that can be excused for works on paper.
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|that reference real colors in nature, but just barely. I wouldn’t call his work “wild beast,” though
he employs quite a few. Many of the works were jungle scenes that seem to convert the room
into an installation piece, along with his sculptures that pushed into the space. I could almost
imagine pushing back the hanging vines and running into one of his creatures. Buck Jones’
world is reminiscent of folk art with a hint of David Bates, Billy Hassell, or even John Alexander.
Only Buck Jones’ colors and shapes, used to build up his drawings, are very much his own
|His stunning owls look at you with eerie energy. Canidae is a wolf head seen in multiple
perspective, like a cubist work, or in his case, trianglism, because the triangle plays heavy as
a design element. But if the picture is not an individual wolf, it might be a tightly packed pack
of wolves. Either way, I get the feeling of dread and beauty mix to make a subline composition
of unknowable animal thoughts. His woodpecker sculpture uses a sound element to push
home the tragic clashes between man and other animals. After all, this was the last recorded
sounds from an Ivory-billed woodpecker, yet people are hopeful the bird is still deep in the
woods of Arkansas.
|Buck Jones also uses a bit of humor in his work. Like using an open mouthed pelican to act as a
stand for a nest. Flintstones came to mind, only with a twist, a hawk instead of a person is using
the sight gag. Of course, his manipulation of the animals and plants plays into his environmental
concerns. I see a vein of his passion for the environment, but his work is too complex to reduce it
down to just one message.
Jules Buck Jones is showing with Matt Clark in the front gallery and Scott Daniel Ellison in the
project room. I want to revisit the gallery to give these two artists their due. I think Matt Clark’s
paintings in particular might be worth spending more time. Particularly his pieces that focus on
lines and geometric structures. All three shows will be up at Conduit Gallery through June 20th.