With emphasis on elegance, precision, and material qualities, Jonathan Prince’s sculptures explore the expansive potential for formal and expressive variety latent in stone and more recently steel. Sinuous, organic volumes suggest the presence of a fluid element within solid material, while pristinely polished surfaces and perfect geometries create a contrasting machine aesthetic. A solemn reverence for his medium contributes both conceptual and procedural continuity to his oeuvre in a practice that merges industrial mechanics with the poetics of the handmade. Prince’s geometric abstractions and clear awareness of both mass relationships and surface qualities demonstrate his artistic inheritance from Constantin Brancusi, Jean Arp, and other masters of twentieth century modernist sculpture.
Prince’s formal vocabulary draws upon his extensive knowledge of nature, science, and the human body. He is fascinated by artifacts and their power to mediate between history and contemporary society. By referencing fragments of ancient form while maintaining the ambiguity of abstraction, he seeks to create physical points of inquiry that encourage open-ended questions and individual projections. Each encounter is unique—driven by personal, subjective experience.
The artist resurrected his latent passion for sculpture in 2004 after a distinguished and diverse professional career in the arts and sciences. Prince completed a doctorate at Columbia University and post-doctoral studies at the University of Southern California. He has produced feature films and directed numerous computer animated special effects projects including significant contributions to an Emmy Award winning CBS television miniseries. He has created several large-scale technology and art installations at such renowned venues as the Smithsonian Institution and holds several design patents for his developments in optical engineering. The artist described his full-time return to sculpture as a turning point in his life. According to critic Alexandra Anderson-Spivy Prince’s return to the studio has produced “a mature body of work, refined in concept and fearless in execution.”