Jennifer Bartlett: Binary Images: Shaped Canvases and Plate Paintings, 2005
Text by Elizabeth Murray
60 pages, Softcover
Published by Locks Art Publications
Jennifer Bartlett is interviewed by long-time friend and colleague, Elizabeth Murray, and she describes, for the first time in her own words, the derivation of her steel plate paintings and the conception of her first monumental painting installation Rhapsody (1976), as well as her recent series of diptychs. This series of paintings that illustrate this interview are from a 2005 exhibition at Locks Gallery featuring pairs of oil paintings on polygonal-shaped canvases and diptychs of her iconic baked enamel steel plate paintings. Bartlett's use of the grid is revisited here with complex dotting and webbing of colors that simultaneously unifies and repels the components of the diptych-creating a lively tension within each piece. As in the past, these new paintings by Bartlett represent a delicate balance between the conceptual and sensory, between stability and unrest. Bartlett graduated from Yale University with an M.F.A. in painting in 1965. Bartlett's first major exhibition, a single but monumental piece, Rhapsody (1976) astounded critics with its encyclopedic demonstration of painting as a subject. She has continued a diligent and unabashed approach to the act of painting that is both systematic and intuitive in origin.