Jon Key

Jon Key, The Man in the Violet Suit No. 15 (Living Room), 2020 Acrylic on panel 60 x 48 inches (152.4 x 121.9 cm)
Jon Key, The Man No. 13, 2020 Acrylic on panel 40 x 30 inches (101.6 x 76.2 cm)
Jon Key, The Man No. 14, 2020 Acrylic on panel 40 x 30 inches (101.6 x 76.2 cm)
Jon Key, The Man No. 11, 2020 Acrylic on panel 24 x 18 inches (61 x 45.7 cm)
Jon Key, The Man No. 12, 2020 Acrylic on panel 24 x 18 inches (61 x 45.7 cm)
Jon Key.<em> The Man in the Red Room No. 3</em>, 2019. Acrylic on canvas, 48 x 36 inches (121.9 x 91.4 cm)
Untitled, Miami Beach. Installation view, 2019
Jon Key.<em> The Man No. 6</em>, 2019. Acrylic on panel, 24 x 18 inches (61 x 45.7 cm)
Jon Key.<em> Violet Still Life No. 2</em>, 2019. Acrylic on panel, 24 x 18 inches (61 x 45.7 cm)
Jon Key.<em> The Man in the Violet Suit No. 13</em>, 2019. Acrylic on canvas, 48 x 36 inches (121.9 x 91.4 cm)
<em> Violet Alabama</em>. Installation view, Steve Turner, 2019
Jon Key.<em> Family Portrait No. 2 (Fred)</em>, 2019. Acrylic on canvas, 24 x 18 inches (61 x 45.7 cm)
Jon Key.<em> The Man in the Red Room No. 2</em>, 2019. Acrylic on canvas, 48 x 36 inches (121.9 x 91.4 cm)
<em> Violet Alabama</em>. Installation view, Steve Turner, 2019
Jon Key.<em>The Man in the Red Room No. 1</em>, 2019. Acrylic on canvas, 28 x 28 inches (71.1 x 71.1 cm)
Jon Key.<em> Family Portrait No. 1 (Ken)</em>, 2019. Acrylic on canvas, 24 x 18 inches (61 x 45.7 cm)
<em> Violet Alabama</em>. Installation view, Steve Turner, 2019
Jon Key.<em> The Man No. 4</em>, 2019. Acrylic on canvas, 24 x 18 inches (61 x 45.7 cm)
Jon Key.<em> The Man No. 3</em>, 2019. Acrylic on canvas, 24 x 18 inches (61 x 45.7 cm)
<em> Violet Alabama</em>. Installation view, Steve Turner, 2019

Jon Key, The Man in the Violet Suit No. 15 (Living Room), 2020 Acrylic on panel 60 x 48 inches (152.4 x 121.9 cm)

Jon Key, The Man No. 13, 2020 Acrylic on panel 40 x 30 inches (101.6 x 76.2 cm)

Jon Key, The Man No. 14, 2020 Acrylic on panel 40 x 30 inches (101.6 x 76.2 cm)

Jon Key, The Man No. 11, 2020 Acrylic on panel 24 x 18 inches (61 x 45.7 cm)

Jon Key, The Man No. 12, 2020 Acrylic on panel 24 x 18 inches (61 x 45.7 cm)

Jon Key. The Man in the Red Room No. 3, 2019. Acrylic on canvas, 48 x 36 inches (121.9 x 91.4 cm)

Untitled, Miami Beach. Installation view, 2019

Jon Key. The Man No. 6, 2019. Acrylic on panel, 24 x 18 inches (61 x 45.7 cm)

Jon Key. Violet Still Life No. 2, 2019. Acrylic on panel, 24 x 18 inches (61 x 45.7 cm)

Jon Key. The Man in the Violet Suit No. 13, 2019. Acrylic on canvas, 48 x 36 inches (121.9 x 91.4 cm)

Violet Alabama. Installation view, Steve Turner, 2019

Jon Key. Family Portrait No. 2 (Fred), 2019. Acrylic on canvas, 24 x 18 inches (61 x 45.7 cm)

Jon Key. The Man in the Red Room No. 2, 2019. Acrylic on canvas, 48 x 36 inches (121.9 x 91.4 cm)

Violet Alabama. Installation view, Steve Turner, 2019

Jon Key.The Man in the Red Room No. 1, 2019. Acrylic on canvas, 28 x 28 inches (71.1 x 71.1 cm)

Jon Key. Family Portrait No. 1 (Ken), 2019. Acrylic on canvas, 24 x 18 inches (61 x 45.7 cm)

Violet Alabama. Installation view, Steve Turner, 2019

Jon Key. The Man No. 4, 2019. Acrylic on canvas, 24 x 18 inches (61 x 45.7 cm)

Jon Key. The Man No. 3, 2019. Acrylic on canvas, 24 x 18 inches (61 x 45.7 cm)

Violet Alabama. Installation view, Steve Turner, 2019

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Jon Key.<em> The Man in the Red Room No. 3</em>, 2019. Acrylic on canvas, 48 x 36 inches (121.9 x 91.4 cm) thumbnail
Untitled, Miami Beach. Installation view, 2019 thumbnail
Jon Key.<em> The Man No. 6</em>, 2019. Acrylic on panel, 24 x 18 inches (61 x 45.7 cm) thumbnail
Jon Key.<em> Violet Still Life No. 2</em>, 2019. Acrylic on panel, 24 x 18 inches (61 x 45.7 cm) thumbnail
Jon Key.<em> The Man in the Violet Suit No. 13</em>, 2019. Acrylic on canvas, 48 x 36 inches (121.9 x 91.4 cm) thumbnail
<em> Violet Alabama</em>. Installation view, Steve Turner, 2019 thumbnail
Jon Key.<em> Family Portrait No. 2 (Fred)</em>, 2019. Acrylic on canvas, 24 x 18 inches (61 x 45.7 cm) thumbnail
Jon Key.<em> The Man in the Red Room No. 2</em>, 2019. Acrylic on canvas, 48 x 36 inches (121.9 x 91.4 cm) thumbnail
<em> Violet Alabama</em>. Installation view, Steve Turner, 2019 thumbnail
Jon Key.<em>The Man in the Red Room No. 1</em>, 2019. Acrylic on canvas, 28 x 28 inches (71.1 x 71.1 cm) thumbnail
Jon Key.<em> Family Portrait No. 1 (Ken)</em>, 2019. Acrylic on canvas, 24 x 18 inches (61 x 45.7 cm) thumbnail
<em> Violet Alabama</em>. Installation view, Steve Turner, 2019 thumbnail
Jon Key.<em> The Man No. 4</em>, 2019. Acrylic on canvas, 24 x 18 inches (61 x 45.7 cm) thumbnail
Jon Key.<em> The Man No. 3</em>, 2019. Acrylic on canvas, 24 x 18 inches (61 x 45.7 cm) thumbnail
<em> Violet Alabama</em>. Installation view, Steve Turner, 2019 thumbnail

Jon Key’s paintings feature his own likeness as a contorted black man in a variety of poses against green, black, violet and red backgrounds. The colors render the figure flamboyant and provocative while the tight framing stifles his freedom. Key limits his palette to these four colors to acknowledge his Southern roots, his Blackness, his Queerness and his family. In other recent works, he has introduced other members of his family including his twin brother, parents and grandparents.


Born 1990, Seale, Alabama
Lives and works in Brooklyn

Education
2013
BFA, Rhode Island School of Design, Providence
Brown University, Providence

2008
Summer Program, Rhode Island School of Design, Providence

2005
Summer Program, Savannah College of Art and Design, Savannah

Solo and Two-Person Exhibitions
2021
Steve Turner, Los Angeles (upcoming)

2020
Seale(d), Steve Turner, Los Angeles
The Armory Show (with Steve Turner), New York

2019
Violet Alabama, Steve Turner, Los Angeles
Violet: Mythologies and Other Truths, Rubber Factory, New York
SPRING/BREAK Art Show (with Ross+Kramer Gallery), New York

2018
SPRING/BREAK Art Show (with Codify Art), New York

Group Exhibitions
2020
Breakfast Under the Tree, Carl Freedman Gallery, Margate, United Kingdom
Black Voices/Black Microcosm, CFHILL, Stockholm, Sweden

2019
Untitled, Miami Beach (with Steve Turner)
On the Map, Denny Dimin Hong Kong
PAPER VIEW, The Hole, New York

2018
Punch, Jeffrey Deitch Gallery, New York
The Key Twins, Studio 301, Brooklyn
Codify Art, The Public Theater, New York

2017
The Anxious Body, Angell Gallery, Toronto
32nd Biennial of Graphic Arts, MGLC, Ljubljana, Slovenia
If You Were in My Body, Fierman Gallery, New York
Rock Paper Scissors and a Three-Armed Shovel, Baxter St at CCNY, New York
Environmental Projection Agency, Bau Haus, Brooklyn
SPRING/BREAK Art Show (with Codify Art), New York
Brown Paper Zine and Small Press Fair, MoCADA Museum, Brooklyn
Endless Edition Zine and Art Bienniale, Endless Edition, New York

2016
You Are Here, Bau Haus, Brooklyn
Afropunk Featured Artist, Commodore Park, Brooklyn
Work, Outlet, Brooklyn

2015
Bau Haus Semi-Annual, Bau Haus, Brooklyn
Odds and Ends Book Fair, Yale University Art Gallery
Artists Against Police Violence, EMW Bookstore, Boston
About Face, Bau Haus, Brooklyn

Bibliography
2020
Teszler, Sonja. “Interview with Jon Key,” Maake Magazine, September

2019
Walsh, Danielle. “The 5 Most Exciting Emerging Artists at Miami Art Week,” Vanity Fair, December 12
Wooten, Nick. “‘Changing the face of society.’ Twin artists on Forbes Under 30 list are Columbus grads,” Ledger-Enquirer, December 11
Russell, Tovey. Diament, Robert. “Jon Key (NYC special episode),” Talk Art, December 5
“2020 30 Under 30 – Art & Style,” Forbes, December 3
Mizota, Sharon. “A walker’s guide to gallery hopping along Highland Avenue,” Los Angeles Times, September 30
Saltz, Jerry. “A Radical New History of Queer Modernism,” Vulture, April 8
Machado, Danilo. “Jon Key: Violet: Mythologies and Other Truths,” Brooklyn Rail, March 17
Cohen, Alina. “7 Artists Who Stole the Show at Spring/Break,” Artsy, March 6
Casconne, Sarah. “These 7 Outrageous SPRING/BREAK Installations Are Stranger Than Fiction,” Artnet News, March 6
McClure, Diana. “JON KEY’S PAINTINGS EXPLORE ‘MYTHOLOGIES’ OF IDENTITY,” AFROPUNK, February 19
Kristoff, Anne. “Twin brothers from a small Alabama town turn heads in the New York art world,” Alabama NewsCenter, February 8
Graves, Cassidy Dawn. “Art This Week: Construction, Windows, and Queer Black Bodies,” Bedford & Bowery, February 5
“Editors’ Picks: 5 Great Art and Design Events This Week,” Galerie, February 4

2018
Smith, Roberta. “Four Knockout Group Shows to See Now,” New York Times, October 19
Chrysanne, LaChelle. “Doing The Work With Jon & Jarrett Key,” UNPOPCULTR, July 2

2016
Cherry, Maurice. “Episode 163: Jonathan Key,” Revision Path, October 24
Meredith, Maya. Wade in the Water, Justseeds, March

2015
“Jonathan Key: We are Bullet Proof,” ADC Global, September 25

Seale(d)

Jarrett Key and Jon Key

September 26–October 24, 2020

Jon Key

Violet Alabama

September 7–October 12, 2019

Jon Key

Maake Magazine

Interview with Jon Key
Sonja Teszler
September 2020

Jon Key

Forbes

January 1, 2020
Jon Key included in Forbes’ “2020 30 Under 30: Art & Style”

Jon Key

Vanity Fair

December 12, 2019
Danielle Walsh
“The 5 Most Exciting Emerging Artists at Miami Art Week”

Jon Key

Los Angeles Times

September 30, 2019
Sharon Mizota
“Art day in L.A.: A walker’s guide to gallery hopping along Highland Avenue”
Francisco Rodriguez, Rebecca Shippee and Jon Key at Steve Turner

Jon Key

Vulture

April 8, 2019
Jerry Saltz
“A Radical New History of Queer Modernism, 1933–1950”

Jon Key

The Brooklyn Rail

March, 2019
Danilo Machado
“Jon Key: Violet: Mythologies and Other Truths”

The Armory Show

Laylah Ali & Jon Key

March 4-8, 2020

Untitled Miami Beach

Sarah Ball, Lydia Blakeley, Jon Key, Gabby Rosenberg, David Shrobe and Brittany Tucker

December 3–8, 2019