After the presentation in 1999 of a series of works that Allen Jones created between 1987 and 1999, including Believe it or not (1999), a mixed media on wood created expressly for the occasion, the exhibition space of the Galleria d'Arte Maggiore g.a.m. are hosting a monographic exhibition based on a selection of paintings and sculptures that the British artist created between 1966 and 2001 and that represent his entire visual universe: from mannequins to sculptures, from paintings with flat backgrounds of the sixties up to the most lyrical aspects of the last period. The exhibition is divided into two parts: one in the headquarter of the Galleria d'Arte Maggiore g.a.m. in Bologna and the other in the institutional venue of Palazzo dei Sette in Orvieto, under the patronage of the Umbria region.
For one of the major representatives of British pop art, it is the feminine universe, evoked through strong colors and simplified forms, that constitutes the point of reference for the creation of a visual lexicon capable of making manifest the opulent Western voyuerism that has shaped our way of perceiving and relating to others. The world of Allen Jones is a world where painting and sculpture do not transform the standardized object into an icon, but they are shaped and configured on the icon par excellence of desire: the female body idealized according to the aesthetic canons of media and advertising. What can be grasped in Jones' works is a desire that evokes with obsessive coldness the woman, charged with the mute power of a massified icon, of a vision of beauty that has brought the body closer to the consumer product that can be found in franchise chain stores. In line with the suggestions of the Pop movement, interested in tracing the aesthetic mechanisms of the new dynamics of mass production and consumption, Allen Jones recounts the dimension of an eros that adapted to a process of generalization, in an era "that has made the stereotype the griffe of any thought" (Franco Basile, Il mito col silicone, in AA.VV., Allen Jones, believe it or not, G.A.M. Edizioni Maggiore, Bologna 2002).
Thanks to the glossy features in which the women of Allen Jones take shape, a cold detachment is created with which the artist is able to treat the theme of consumerism through an ironic and demystifying analysis. So his pin-ups become translations in an iconic key of being a fetish, crystallized desires but immersed in the dimension of disposable, ephemeral and precariousness that is the hallmark of all super-advertised products. In the critical dimension in which to place these works, however, there is also space for dreaming and evasion: in the stylized profiles of his figures we can see symbols that refer to a fairy tale in which to believe, to worlds in which to imagine oneself wandering.
And so, in addition to a visual enjoyment given by the pulsing of chromatic variants that contaminate each other, the work of the Southampton artist becomes the spokesman of "a conceptuality bearer of memories and dreams, hence a less pragmatic language than that of American pop art, but with expressions developed between figuration and abstract to reach happy lingers in the area of enchantment, to ferry thoughts from an ordinary reality to a parallel universe made of oneiric quotations and crossed by characters captured at the inventive state" (Franco Basile, Il mito col silicone, in AA.VV., Allen Jones, believe it or not, G.A.M. Edizioni Maggiore, Bologna 2002).