F      O      R      M      L      A      B


Les Joynes (US)

American, born Southern California, 1963.

Lives and works in New York.


Les Joynes is a multi-media contemporary artist and founder of FormLAB©, a geographically-dispersed exhibition series in museums that explores cultures through collaboration, found  objects, sounds and sites.



(image: Joynes in sculpture performance at the Brazilian Museum of Sculpture).

Conceived in 1996 at Goldsmiths, University of London, FormLAB is a nomadic laboratory that explores the phenomena and processes of artmaking. Joynes uses FormLAB to explore the unfamiliar within different cultural contexts engaging audiences in the USA, Mongolia, Brazil, France, Singapore, South Korea, China and upcoming in Russia.


Exploration reveals as much about ourselves as it does other cultures we encounter. As T.S. Eliot wrote “We must not cease from exploration. And the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we began and to know the place for the first time.” In an increasingly globalized (and homogenizing) world, artists use exploration and intercultural collaboration to learn not only about themselves but also about other cultures and to broaden the conception of art.


Les Joynes is Visiting Scholar at Columbia University, New York and is Fulbright-Hays US Public Diplomacy Awardee for Mongolia (2014) and China (2017). As US Department of State sponsored ACMS Field Research Fellow he has authored the first research on Mongolian university art education. He is 2015 TrAIN Research Fellow at the Research Centre for Transnational Art, Identity and Nation (TrAIN) at Chelsea College of Art, The University of the Arts London where he led a Ph.D. masterclass on collective artmaking.


He recently contributed to four publications on intercultural art education and pedagogy: Going Beyond: Art as Adventure (Cambridge Scholars, UK); Intercultural Collaboration in the Arts: Shamanism, Ritual and Arts in Brazil (University of Sao Paulo, Brazil); ProjectAnywhere v.1 (Parsons New School, New York), dialogues on emerging fine art pedagogy (Critical Practices, New York); and Draw: Mapping Madness (Catalogue) Inside Out Art Museum, Beijing and Neiman Foundation, New York.


He is also author of The Invisible and the Transvisible in contemporary art, Singapore, Journal for Visual Culture, University of California, Irvine (Joynes and Basu, 2011); Japanese art and Yuichi Higashionna at NADIF, Tokyo, Flash Art, Milan (Joynes, 2000); Some Say They Did: Some Say They Didn’t, Japanese contemporary art of Yoshitomo Nara at Ginza Art Space, Art in America (Joynes, 1999); David Thorpe and Brian Griffiths and British art in the 1990s, Springer, Vienna (Joynes, 1998).


Joynes is educated in the US, UK and Japan. He is a graduate of Central Saint Martins (BA Fine Art), Goldsmiths, London (MA Fine Art), Boston University (BA Cum Laude and M.Sc.) and Musashino Art University, Tokyo (Master of Fine Art). He completed his doctorate at Leeds Metropolitan University and Post-Doctorate at University of Sao Paulo, Brazil. He studied under Michael Craig-Martin and Gerard Hemsworth at Goldsmiths; Japanese sculptor Hisayuki Mogami in Tokyo; and French sculptor Jean Cardot at the Ecole Nationale Superieure des Beaux-arts Paris. He studied painting technique from James Rosenquist at the Guggenheim Masterclasses. Joynes’ work draws inspiration from Andy Warhol, Dash Snow, Claes Oldenburg, Lucio Fontana, Alberto Burri, Panamarenko, and Joseph Beuys.


He has exhibited at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Australia; Inside Out Art Museum, Beijing; Museu Brasileiro da Escultura, Brazil; Maejima Art Center, Japan; Seoul Foundation for Art & Culture, Korea; Bangkok Experimental Film Festival, Thailand; Nordisk Kunstnarsenter, Norway; Museum of Modern Art, Wales, UK; Zanabazar Museum of Fine Art, Mongolia; AIT Tactical Museum, Japan; Norimatsu Museum, Japan; Thomas Jaeckel Gallery, New York; Michael Steinberg Fine Art, New York; Sandra Bürgel Gallery, Berlin; Nylon, London; and Mizuma Gallery, Tokyo.


In 1998 he was Curatorial Assistant for the first Taipei International Biennial, Taiwan snd curator for Network, a Japan-UK Cultural Year exhibition of 200 artists from Europe, the US, and Japan. As Fellow at the Bauhaus Foundation Dessau he explored Le Corbusier’s utopian visions of the city and created performances in Berlin (2008) and Singapore (2009).


His work features in public and private collections in the UK, US, Japan and has recently been acquired by the Museu de Arte Brasileira (MAB), in Sao Paulo Brazil. He is represented by Thomas Jaeckel Gallery, New York.

Image: Les Joynes, left, and members of Blue Sun installing FormLAB at Zanabazar Museum of Fine Art, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, 2014.

1996-2017 © FormLAB,  Les Joynes Joynes LLC, ARS, New York. All Rights Reserved.