Paul Jenkins

Biography

(b. 1923, United States; d. 2012, United States)

American abstract painter and member of the New York School, Paul Jenkins was born in 1923 in Kansas City, Missouri. As a teenager, Jenkins worked at a ceramics factory which provided him with exposure to color and tactility in creation that would leave an influence on his future artistic practice. Moving to New York in 1948, Jenkins attended the Arts Students League and studied under the mentorship of Yasuo Kuniyoshi and Morris Kantor.

In New York, Jenkins’ painting practice took on a metaphysical direction. Developing a process based largely around intuition and flow, Jenkins methodology avoided the use of the paintbrush, instead opting for paint and pigment to simply carry on pooling, blooming and spilling across his canvas resulting in fields of color interrupted only by thin white overlaying spills. Jenkins travelled to Paris in 1953 where he continued his experimentations, and in 1941, held his first solo exhibition.

Jenkin’s pursuit of personal discovery and the metaphysical in his works continued throughout his career. His explorations saw shifts in his works, forgoing some of the density and saturation of his early works to increased white space and color illumination in his later works. A friend of abstract expressionist Mark Rothko, Jenkins maintained strong ties with New York and spread his time between the two cities. Widely exhibited and collected in major institutions including the Museum of Modern Art, New York and the National Gallery of Art in Washinton D.C., Jenkins passed away in New York in 2012 at the age of 88, leaving an indelible mark on the American Abstract Art movement.

Artworks

Paul Jenkins, Phenomena Over + Out, 1963, watercolor on paper, 37.5x27.5 cm, at Parkview Art Hong Kong

Phenomena Over + Out
1963
Watercolor on paper
37.5×27.5 cm

 

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