The Mental Museum

The Paul Jenkins Smear

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Phenomena Blue Held Over 1975
acrylic on canvas 75 x 118 inches 190.5 x 300 cm
Milwaukee Art Museum. Gift of Jane Bradley Pettit.


Kansas City, Missouri born artist Paul Jenkins is now 85 years old. Since the 1950s, Jenkins has been mastering the substance of paint through color study works of art that have come to represent the spirit, vitality, and invention of post World War II American abstraction. Inspired by the innovations of Jackson Pollock and the metaphysical representations of Mark Tobey, Jenkins ultimately became associated with the Abstract Expressionists.  A turning point in Jenkins career as an artist was in 1948 when he began studying under the supervision of Japanese artist Yasuo Kuniyoshi at the Arts Student League in New York. Much of Jenkins work, still to this day embodies an almost calligraphic nature. Calligraphy is an art that seeks to master confident, intentional and measured strokes. The work of the brush as an extension of the entire arm is rhythmic and flows to a nonexistent pulse.  Strokes are calculated before hand and executed only once with certainty and self possession. These notions, although executed with no brush, have been filtrated with Jenkins’ measured skills of paint pouring and canvas manipulation. 


Phenomena Kwan Yin 1969
acrylic on canvas 88 x 119 inches 223.5 x 302.5 cm
The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.


Phenomena Tibetan Flange 1973
acrylic on canvas 66 x 74 inches 167.6 x 188 cm
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C.

Written by thementalmuseum

June 18, 2008 at 9:08 pm

Posted in 1

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