Matt Jones: Inner Space 

Through Oct. 30, Wed-Thur 2-6 p.m.; Fri-Sat 12-7 p.m. @ House Gallery

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If ever an artist risked repetitive-motion disorder, it’s Matt Jones, with his similar patterns of brush strokes repeated over and over. But then, an art exhibition titled Inner Space has to somehow elucidate the pathways of thought, with its sometimes-cyclical nature. In this series of large paintings (“Inner Space #9” is pictured), the minimalist technique is brought into sharp focus. Monochromatic works in different hues document his methodical practice like footprints in the snow, as though the tracks or imprints they make reveal their pathways but not the deeper content or intent.

But the obfuscation—marks retracing themselves—is revelatory about this “inner space” as well, since Jones seems willing to follow the brush wherever it will take him over the breadth of the canvas; the repetition compulsion somehow becomes the content of the work. A study of Buddhism informs this work, but these aren’t spiritual exercises. As in the music of Philip Glass, in a work composed largely of highly repetitive elements, the slightest variations stand out more than usual.

Thus, a surprising sense of drama is created, his compositions as energetic in their own way, as deliberate as the works of the late Jackson Pollock were frenetic. The strenuous reaching of these inner pathways toward a kind of order, only to be defeated by the low hum of their own noise, is a narrative, and though uttered in whispered tones, it still manages to compel.

Matt Jones: Inner Space @ House Gallery, 29 E. 400 South, 801-910-1736, through Oct. 30, Wednesday-Thursday 2-6 p.m.; Friday-Saturday 12-7 p.m., free. HouseGallerySLC.com

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