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Biography

Samuel Levi Jones is inspired by questions of authority, representation, and recorded history. The artist is known for challenging historical and contemporary power structures through the act of taking apart "source" material, generating new perspectives from which to grapple with society’s ongoing ignorance and apathy. Jones’s practice centers on physically undoing objects associated with systems of power and control, often rearranging deconstructed books into grid-like compositions that expose their flaws and question their assumed command of the truth. As he explains, “I am ultimately thinking about information that is selectively left out.” His works examine urgent questions of how oppression is embedded in systems of law enforcement and education, as well as industries in medicine, athletics, and fine art.

Solo exhibitions include The Empire is Falling at The Dayton Contemporary, Ohio; Left of Center at the Indianapolis Museum of Art at Newfields, Indiana; and Unbound, Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, New York. Recent museum exhibitions include Art of California: Greater than 

the Sum, SFMOMA, San Francisco, California; Duro Olowu: Seeing Chicago, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Infinite Blue at the Brooklyn Museum, New York; and Solidary & Solitary: The Joyner/Guiffrida Collection at the Smart Museum at the University of Chicago, Illinois. His work can be found in museum and public collections such as the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, California; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, California; The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas, Texas and Seattle Art Museum, Seattle, Washington. In 2014, Jones was the recipient of the Joyce Alexander Wein Artist Prize, an annual award presented by The Studio Museum in Harlem, 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 Indianapolis, Indiana.

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