Samuel Levi Jones is inspired by questions of power, representation, and recorded history. He has built a body of assemblage paintings centered around the deconstruction of institutional texts. Peeling the covers from the books, Jones rearranges their interiors into grid-like compositions that expose the flaws of the objects and question the assumed authority of such books. As he explains, “I am ultimately thinking about information that is selectively left out.” His studies of exclusion and identity examine larger issues of social and racial inequality that are at the forefront of current debates in the United States. His works examine urgent questions of how brutality is embedded in institutional systems such as law enforcement, education, and the medical industry.
Jones was recently included in the museum exhibitions After Fred Wilson at the Indianapolis Museum of Contemporary Art, Indiana, and Unbound at the Studio Museum in Harlem, New York. His work can be found in museum and public collections such as the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, California; Rubell Family Collection, Florida; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, California; and Studio Museum in Harlem, New York. In 2014, Jones was the recipient of the Joyce Alexander Wein Artist Prize, an annual award whose past recipients include prominent artists such as Leslie Hewitt, Glenn Ligon, and Lorna Simpson.
Jones was born in Marion, Indiana, in 1978, and lives and works in Chicago, Illinois.