Plant Kingdoms: The Photographs Of Charles Jones

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Plant Kingdoms: The Photographs Of Charles Jones

  • Publish Date: 1999-12-01
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Author: Sean Sexton;Robert Flynn Johnson
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Charles Jones (1866-1959) is likely to remain forever a mysterious figure. We know that he was born in England, the son of a master butcher. We know that he trained as a gardener and was employed on a number of private estates before retiring. We shall probably never know exactly how and why he came so obsessively and so brilliantly to photograph the plants he encountered in everyday life at the turn of the century. Yet Charles Jones did not photograph his vegetables, fruits, and flowers within nature. On the contrary, he isolated his works against neutral backgrounds - beguiling studio portraits of beans and onions, squashes and turnips, tulips and sunflowers, plums and pears. His techniques - close-up viewpoint, long exposure, and spare composition - anticipate by decades the later achievements of modernist masters, for here was an outsider genius, who was saved from obscurity only by the photographic collector Sean Sexton's chance discovery of his surviving prints in a London market. The photographs themselves are Jones' only statement. He left no notes, diaries, or writings to explain his reasons for the creation of such a prodigious and concentrated body of work, superbly reproduced in this volume. Revealing art in nature, Jones' images have a wider significance in he history of both photography and still-life, brilliantly explored and explained here by renowned expert Robert Flynn Johnson.

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