Jonathan Prince Experiments with Jello!


For the last several years, Jonathan Prince's work has explored the dialectical qualities of the physical states of matter and in particular, The Liquid State: the appearance of liquid fixed in a sculptural form, a body of work whose focus is that of materiality and physicality. Prince has continually captured these elusive qualities through a variety of iterations of the cube and column, investigating the ways in which physical and chemical effects can disrupt and morph seemingly reliable, geometric forms. Prince's new Jello Cubes capture this concept most acutely and viscerally.  

The focus of the work has been to capture the variations of form as Jell-O congeals and is agitated by an external force, after which the lively material continues to move, or jiggle, on its own accord. Gels are mostly liquid in nature but behave as a semi-solid material, due to a 3-D cross-linked molecular network with the liquid. Prince’s past works have been engaged with the elusive fluidity of light, but it is the process of liquid becoming solid that interests him in this new body of work. 

While the nature of gelatin—its natural process of becoming a solid form from a liquid state—aligned with Prince’s conceptual interests, it also provides a playful contrast to the weight of his explorations. Jello-O, with its robust colors and flavors, is in direct opposition to the earthly, geological forms for which the artist is often associated. This juxtaposition creates an exciting tension and curiosity regarding the associations this post-war dessert evokes.