In Jennie C. Jones's new Acoustic Panel Paintings, she continues to explore the perception of sound within the visual arts while experimenting with a new material, architectural felt. Like the noise-absorbing foam panels of her earlier paintings, this substrate also has sound dampening properties. Composed of layered felt and acoustic panels, Dark Glissando (2021) subverts the flat formalism of Minimalist painting. Transforming this reductive geometry into something far more expansive and immersive, the work physically and aurally extends outwards—and upwards—to actively engage viewers. Encouraging viewers to anticipate the presence of sound, Jones states that this and other similar paintings are always “active.” As she explains, “I always say they’re active even when there’s no sound in the room; they are affecting the subtlest of sounds in the space—dampening and absorbing even the human voice.”
Seamlessly integrating visual practices with auditory ones, the titles of Jones’s paintings often directly reference musical terminology. Dark Glissando references the glide between pitches. Illustrating this slide, the work’s stacked gray and black planes suggest slippage—as though the heavy panels are about to shift. Further destabilizing the canvas’s surface, Jones paints a trill-like burst of neon red on its edge, causing it to buzz with the echoed glow of bright pigment. Ultimately challenging minimalist conventions through unexpected gestures, Jones’s work deconstructs established modernist visual languages to make space for meaning. Her recent paintings like Dark Glissando continue her project of mining the interrelated histories of art and music to advocate for a more expansive understanding of the twentieth-century canon.