Allen Jones was born in Southampton in 1937. He studied at Hornsey College of Art, London (1955-59), and the Royal College of Art (1959-60) and returned to Hornsey to take a teacher training course (1960-61).
The early 1960s at the Royal College of Art witnessed the birth of British Pop Art (Pop Art first emerged in America in 1960). Allen Jones was one of a group of students which included Derek Boshier, David Hockney, RB Kitaj and Peter Phillips, who radically changed the face of British art with their precocious, unconventional and irreverent work which was based in popular culture, embracing new subject-matter and new materials. Jones’s preference was for glamour and style, and his aesthetic centred on beautiful women visualised erotically and stereotypically as in glossy magazines, advertisements and cartoon strips. Underpinned with a great mastery of colour and a consummate painting technique, Jones’s work fluctuates between painting and sculpture. On a flat canvas painted forms appear sculptural and his three-dimensional works are painterly. He uses colour to describe form, at times with graphic precision, or conversely with an energy and freedom of gesture which is close to direct expression. Similar developments are evident in his printmaking. Having sustained a long and successful career as an artist, developing his work at a consciously measured pace, Jones has remained central to British art. His work may be seen in many public places including the most fashionable restaurants. He has carried out commissions for the City of London (1987), the British Airport Authority, Heathrow Airport (1991), Chelsea and Westminster Hospital (1992-93) and Sir Terence Conran’s Mezzo Restaurant (1996), among others.