The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA) is pleased to present Jennifer Bartlett: History of the Universe —Works 1970-2011 organized by the Parrish Art Museum. Jennifer Bartlett emerged in the 1970s as one of the leading American artists of her time and one of the first female painters of her generation to be both commercially successful and critically acclaimed.
Remaining true to her vision of painting as a neverending associative construction that always leaves open connections to other ideas, Bartlett continues to experiment, always willing to subvert and unsettle the seeming happiness and simplicity of her imagery and words.
The exhibition provided an unprecedented 40-year survey of Bartlett’s career, featuring both highly controlled abstract works and those reflecting a more painterly realism. Included were prime examples of works from all of Bartlett's major series, including the multipaneled and multimedium “House Paintings” and the critically acclaimed “In the Garden” series; the innovative pairing of sculpture and paintings depicting boats and houses; the “Air: 24 Hours” series painted between 1991 and 1992; the autobiographical “Earth Paintings,” which dealt which memories of child abuse and were painted between 1993 and 1995; her “Word Paintings,” begun in 2004, featuring short stories and dialogues “written” onto her signature enameled steel plates; and her most recent paintings depicting houses, trees, and plants surrounding her homes in Amagansett and Brooklyn.
Illustrated catalog published by the Parrish Art Museum, featuring an in-depth essay by the curator, Klaus Ottmann; a conversation between the artist and Terrie Sultan, the Parrish’s director; as well as an excerpt from Bartlett's 1985 autobiographical novel, The History of the Universe.
Jennifer Bartlett: History of the Universe — Works 1970-2011 was organized by the Parrish Art Museum, Water Mill, New York, and was made possible, in part, with the generous support of the Henry Luce Foundation. The presentation of this exhibition at PAFA is made possible by contributing support from the Andrew J. and Christine C. Hall Foundation, Inc., Agnes Gund, Barbara and Ted Aronson, and Gene and Sueyun Locks, with additional support from Linda Lee Alter, Luther W. Brady, M.D., Gretchen H. Burke, Janice T. Gordon, Gabriele Lee, Mr. and Mrs. H.F. “Gerry” Lenfest, Susan M. Maguire, and Mr. and Mrs. Morris Stroud.
PAFA's special exhibitions in 2013-14 are supported by generous contributions from Max N. Berry, Esq., William and Laura Buck, Donald and Linda Caldwell, Jonathan L. Cohen, Edward and Wendy Harvey, Lori Levine Ordover and Janusz Ordover, and Linda Seyda and Bob Boris.
The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts’ public programs are funded in part by a grant from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts (a state agency funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency).
General operating support provided, in part, by The Philadelphia Cultural Fund