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Jennifer Bartlett (American, 1941-2022)
Sea Wall, 1985
3 canvases, , sculptural elements: 5 boats, 5 houses, 4 step stones, 4 sea wall elements, 1 seahorse chair 3 canvases each; 19 sculptural elements
installation dimensions variable

Artist Bio

Jennifer Bartlett (née Losch; 1941–2022), was born in Long Beach, CA, studied at Mills College in California and graduated from Yale University before moving to New York City in 1967. Within her systematic and expansive painting practice, she consistently explored the environments she inhabited and, through multiple iterations of the same image or theme, exhausted their possibilities for representation. She was best known for her room-sized installations that explore landscaped such as houses, mountains, trees, gardens, and bodies of water.

Conceptual and novelistic, her work raises and revisits vernacular themes, while mathematics and conceptual games guided her creative process, often resulting in color indexes and grid-based patterns. Inspired by Minimalism, her artwork is often in series and oscillates between painting on steel plates and painting on canvas, occasionally combining the two. In addition to her lyrical conversations between mathematical abstraction and painterly iconography, the totalizing quality of her artwork touches upon many of the styles that she explored in subsequent bodies of work. Her exhibitions range from Abstract Expressionism to Minimalism to Conceptualism, some with elements of all three.

Jennifer Bartlett’s first retrospective was held in 1985 at the Walker Art Center, MN, and traveled to the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, MO; the Brooklyn Museum, NY; and the Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, PA. In 2006, the Addison Gallery of American Art presented a survey of Bartlett’s early enameled steel plate paintings in the period from 1968–76. In 2013–14, Klaus Ottmann curated her second traveling survey, Jennifer Bartlett: History of the Universe: Works 1970–2011, at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadlephia, PA, and the Parrish Art Museum, Water Mills, NY. In 2014, the Cleveland Museum of Art united her three monumental plate pieces, Rhapsody (1975-76), Song (2007), and Recitative (2009-10) in the exhibition Epic Systems.

Bartlett’s works are represented in the collections of the Dallas Museum of Fine Arts, TX; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, CA; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX; Museum of Modern Art, NY; Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadlephia, PA; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, CA; Tate Modern, London, UK; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY, among many others.

Locks Gallery has represented the artist for over 25 years.

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