Recitative (detail), 2009-10
enamel on 372 silkscreened baked enamel steel plates
134 x 1899 inches

Recitative (detail), 2009-10
enamel on 372 silkscreened baked enamel steel plates
134 x 1899 inches

Recitative (detail), 2009-10
enamel on 372 silkscreened baked enamel steel plates
134 x 1899 inches

Recitative (detail), 2009-10
enamel on 372 silkscreened baked enamel steel plates
134 x 1899 inches

Recitative (detail), 2009-10
enamel on 372 silkscreened baked enamel steel plates
134 x 1899 inches

Recitative (detail), 2009-10
enamel on 372 silkscreened baked enamel steel plates
134 x 1899 inches

Press Release

Locks Gallery is pleased to present Jennifer Bartlett: Recitative, a solo exhibition featuring the artist’s monumental titular painting. Composed of 372 steel plates and measuring over 158 feet across, Bartlett’s colossal polyptych navigates the reductionistic practices of Minimalism and rule-based systems of Conceptualism. Recitative marks Bartlett’s twenty-first solo show with the gallery.

Wrapping around the entirety of the gallery’s second floor exhibition space, Recitative (2009-10) is a sweeping exploration of color theory and tonality through the artist’s familiar mark-making, including of colored dots, lines, and lively brushstrokes. Unfolding across Bartlett’s signature steel plates, the piece steadily grows in size as the repetition of squares builds in series of threes. This progression continues through a collection of forty-nine panels painted with primary, secondary, and tertiary color combinations, followed by forty-five grouped dotted sections. Recitative’s final grouping presents a contrasting break from the vibrant, repetitious nature of the painting’s familiar grid pattern as a singular fluid black line traverses across twenty-four final plates at overlapping angles.

Recitative, by definition, is the rhythmically free vocal style dating back to 16th century Florentine monodies, which mimics the natural inflections of everyday speech. Often used as a narrative tool in operas and oratorios, the practice offers a vocal fluidity allowing for the seamless transition between musical composition and exposition. Similarly, Recitative reflects such interludes through a distinct construct that unfolds with familiar shapes and colors, yet remains captivating through its thematic variations. Exemplified by the rising and falling accents of each triplet, the work reflects the musicality and cadence of an animated dialogue.

Jennifer Bartlett (b. 1941) received her B.A. from Mills College, CA, and her B.F.A. (1964) and M.F.A. (1965) from Yale University. Her work is represented in over one hundred museum collections, including the Museum of Modern Art, NY; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY; the Philadelphia Museum of Art, PA; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, CA; the Tate Modern, London; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, CA; the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, NY. Her recent retrospective History of the Universe, curated by Klaus Ottmann traveled to the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, PA and Parrish Art Museum, NY. Other solo exhibitions have taken place at the Brooklyn Museum, NY; The Tate Gallery, London, England; and The Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford, CT.

Jennifer Bartlett: Recitative will be on view at Locks Gallery from October 8 through November 27, 2021. The gallery is open 10 am to 6 pm from Tuesday through Saturday, and by appointment. For more information please contact info@locksgallery.com or 215-629-1000.

Jennifer Bartlett
Artist
Jennifer Bartlett
Virgil Marti & Jennifer Bartlett in Less is a Bore
Exhibitions
Virgil Marti & Jennifer Bartlett in Less is a Bore
ICA Boston Jun 26 – Sep 22, 2019
Jennifer Bartlett
Exhibition
Jennifer Bartlett
The Drawing Center January 22 - March 20, 2016
Jennifer Bartlett
Publication
Jennifer Bartlett
Epic Systems monograph July 9, 2015
Jennifer Bartlett
Exhibition
Jennifer Bartlett
Cleveland Museum of Art Sep 7, 2014 - Feb 22, 2015
Jennifer Bartlett
Exhibition
Jennifer Bartlett
Princeton University Art Museum June 11, 2014
Jennifer Bartlett
News
Jennifer Bartlett
Parrish Art Museum, Water Mill, NY Apr 27, 2014 - Jul 13, 2014
Jennifer Bartlett
Exhibition
Jennifer Bartlett
Kunstsaele Berlin, Germany Mar 14, 2014 - Apr 26, 2014
Jennifer Bartlett
Exhibition
Jennifer Bartlett
Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, PA Jun 27, 2013 - Oct 13, 2013
Jennifer Bartlett
Exhibition
Jennifer Bartlett
Jennifer Bartlett: Rhapsody on view at The Museum of Modern Art, New York Apr 27, 2011
Writing
It Matters Where You See the Art
Splice Today November 22, 2021

by Crispin Sartwell

Writing
Jennifer Bartlett
Art in America December 2015

by Serena Qiu

Writing
Jennifer Bartlett: Title Magazine
September 25, 2014

"Jennifer Bartlett: In the Garden" by Kerry Bickford

Writing
Jennifer Bartlett: PAFA
ARTnews November 2013

by Edith Newhall

Writing
Jennifer Bartlett
Artforum June 2013

by Julian Elias Bronner

Writing
Jennifer Bartlett's Universe in Philadelphia
Art in America June 2013

by Brian Boucher

Writing
Critics' Picks: Jennifer Bartlett
Artforum May 2012

by Christopher Howard

Writing
In Conversation: Jennifer Bartlett with Phong Bui
The Brooklyn Rail July/August 2011
Writing
Jennifer Bartlett’s Epic 'Rhapsody' Back on View at the Modern
The New York Times April 2011

by Roberta Smith

Writing
Jennifer Bartlett
Art in America May 2011

by Jeff Frederick

Writing
Jennifer Bartlett
Artforum March 2011

by Johanna Burton

Writing
Doting on Dots: Jennifer Bartlett's 'Recitative'
The New York Times Style Magazine January 2011

by Linda Yablonsky

Writing
Jennifer Bartlett: I hear America Thinking
New York Magazine December 1985

by Kay Larson

Writing
Jennifer Bartlett: 15 Year Retrospective
The New York Times November 1985

by Michael Brenson

Writing
Jennifer Bartlett: Making Sense of Sensuality
New York Magazine April 1985

by Kay Larson

Writing
Profile: Jennifer Bartlett
The New Yorker April 1985

by Calvin Tomkins

Writing
The Unexpected from Jennifer Bartlett
The New York Times April 1985

by Michael Brenson 

Jennifer Bartlett
Steel Plate Paintings from the 1970s
Jennifer Bartlett
Point, Line, Square, Getting Somewhere 2017
Jennifer Bartlett: Hospital Paintings
Publication
Jennifer Bartlett: Hospital Paintings
Text by Raphael Rubinstein 2015
Jennifer Bartlett: In the Garden (1980-83)
Publication
Jennifer Bartlett: In the Garden (1980-83)
Text by Gregory Volk 2014
Jennifer Bartlett: History of the Universe (1970-2011)
Publication
Jennifer Bartlett: History of the Universe (1970-2011)
Text by Klaus Ottmann 2014
Jennifer Bartlett: Chaos Theory (1971-2013)
Publication
Jennifer Bartlett: Chaos Theory (1971-2013)
Text by Ann Landi 2013
Jennifer Bartlett's Enameled Steel Plates
Publication
Jennifer Bartlett's Enameled Steel Plates
Text by Marie-Claire Groeninck 2012
Jennifer Bartlett: From Rhapsody to Song
Publication
Jennifer Bartlett: From Rhapsody to Song
Text by David Moos 2008
Jennifer Bartlett: Painting the Language of Nature and Painting
Publication
Jennifer Bartlett: Painting the Language of Nature and Painting
Text by Donald Kuspit 2006
Jennifer Bartlett, Binary Images: Shaped Canvases and Plate Paintings
Publication
Jennifer Bartlett, Binary Images: Shaped Canvases and Plate Paintings
Text by Elizabeth Murray 2005
Jennifer Bartlett: At Sea
Publication
Jennifer Bartlett: At Sea
2004
Jennifer Bartlett
Publication
Jennifer Bartlett
May 4-June 9, 2001 2001
Jennifer Bartlett: New Paintings
Publication
Jennifer Bartlett: New Paintings
Text by Kay Larson 1998
Jennifer Bartlett: Early Plate Work
Publication
Jennifer Bartlett: Early Plate Work
Text by Brenda Richardson 2006
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