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 Jennifer Losch Bartlett  (1941 - )

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Lived/Active: New York/California      Known for: modernist views-objects, grid images

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Ad Code: 2
Jennifer Losch Bartlett
from Auction House Records.
The Island
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Known for painted images that appear to move back and forth in a progressive way, Jennifer Bartlett conveys a sense of computer systems operating behind the visual movement of her work, which is both abstract and realistic. Her career as a Conceptual artist "came of age in the late 1960s" when at age 27 and reflecting the prevalent style of Minimalism, she decided to do all of her artwork on a 16-gauge steel panel, 1-foot square that looked "like a very thin flooring tile" (Katz 106) and that had been pre-prepared with silk-screened grid lines, giving the appearance of graph paper.  For the next several years, she worked on these panels by dabbing a "single point of paint into some of the tiny squares." The result was unpredictable, which led to her own style and confidence in her unique creativity. In 2006, the Addison Gallery in Andover, Massachusetts held an exhibition of the works representative of this phase of Bartlett's career and titled "Jennifer Bartlett: Early Plate Work."

She studied at Mills College in California, and there met mixed-media sculptor Elizabeth Murray. She received further training at the Yale School of Art and Architecture at a time when Minimalism was all-prevalent. However, there she became friends with Chuck Close, and like him developed a style of her own. She had wearied of Minimalism and its limitations of single images.

One of her major pieces, Rhapsody, completed in 1976 in New York, covered the walls of the Paula Cooper Gallery with 988 variations of mountains, trees, oceans and houses. They were paintings on enamel on twelve-inch steel plates, and each plate had a silk-screened grid with a total of 2304 spaces.

For the Federal Building in Atlanta, Georgia, she created a two-hundred foot mural that had both steel plates and canvas, and in 1981, she did a thirty-foot long mural of a garden, whose theme she painted in smaller works throughout the building.

Sources include:
Vincent Katz, "Bartlett Shows Her Colors", Art in America, January 2007, pp. 106-111
American Women Artists by Charlotte Streifer Rubinstein

Biography from
Jennifer Bartlett's distinguished career as a painter and printmaker has spanned over thirty years in which her prints and paintings have been exhibited in many of the most respected museums and galleries around the world. She is represented in the collections of The Tate, London; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Israel Museum, Jerusalem; The Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art, New York; and The Museum of Modern Art, New York.

A survey of her work, whether by catalogue or exhibition, reveal paintings and prints where both realism and abstraction are often given equal status. Typically, influences of Pointillism, Impressionism and Expressionism as well as subtle nuances of Matisse, Johns and Pollock are clearly evident.

In Bartlett's works, what may often appear as mundane images, houses, trees and water, have consistently been the source of some of the most significant and interesting exploration in her work. In one of her most prolific and recurring images, the house, we see what Bartlett has loosely referred to as "an alter ego metaphor for the different phases of her life including the house as a symbolic portrait of people"


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