From the Nineties to the Noughties: Paul Jenkins in London

A collection of works produced in the 1990s and early 2000s by the American artist Paul Jenkins are the subject of a significant solo exhibition at the Ronchini Gallery in London. ‘Paul Jenkins: Works on Canvas from the Nineties and Noughties’ opened on 23 November and highlights the multiformity of acrylic paint as a medium. Jenkins, who lived in New York City as a contemporary of Pollock, Rothko, and Motherwell, is recognised for his method of pouring luminous layers of paint as a foundation for his abstract works. The exhibition comes following a major presentation at the Tampa Museum of Art earlier this year.

Paul Jenkins, Phenomena out of sight, 2010, Acrylic on canvas, 200 x 200 cm

The paintings of Paul Jenkins have come to represent the spirit, vitality, and invention of post-World War II American abstraction. Employing an unorthodox approach to paint application, Jenkins is as much identified with the process of controlled paint-pouring and canvas manipulation as with the gem-like veils of transparent and translucent colour which have characterised his work since the late 1950s. The artist held a lifelong fascination with Eastern religions and philosophy, and the study of the I Ching, along with the writings of Carl Jung, prompted his turn toward introspective reflection and mysticism, which have dominated his artistic aesthetic as well as his personal life.

Paul Jenkins (1923-2012) was born in Kansas City, Missouri and later moved to New York, where he attended the Art Students League and became a student of Yasuo Kuniyoshi and ultimately became associated with the Abstract Expressionists, inspired in part by the “cataclysmic challenge of Pollock and the total metaphysical consumption of Mark Tobey”.

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