March 2008, Philadelphia, PA – Locks Gallery is pleased to announce the unveiling of a new, monumental plate painting by Jennifer Bartlett, Song, in an exhibition that will also feature seminal plate paintings from the artist’s early career. Jennifer Bartlett: From Rhapsody to Song, will be on view April 18–May 24, 2008 with a public reception on May 2nd from 5:30-7:30 pm.
Bartlett’s new work, Song, spans 97 feet and is comprised of three sizes of enameled metal plates, arranged in a repeated, stepped grid. Filling the entire second floor of Locks Gallery, Song creates a panorama reminiscent of Bartlett’s epic plate piece, Rhapsody (1975-76). In Song, Bartlett uses a basic black dot as a springboard to explore various compositional themes, employing the dot like notes in a melody. In his catalog essay, David Moos notes the strength of Bartlett’s work in that it takes “narrative leaps that are figurative and associative, while operating in real space to activate and affect physical presence.”
The exhibition will also feature study drawings for Rhapsody - now in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art - as well as early plate pieces from the 1970s. Bartlett is known for her installations of enameled steel plates that blend conceptualism with painterly form. It is the work from this era that established the artist’s visual vocabulary of grids, dots, and pattern, as it does a pictoral home, executed with exacting precision.
An illustrated catalog is available with an essay by David Moos, Curator of Contemporary Art at the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto.
Bartlett’s work can also be seen at the Museum of Modern Art, NY through May 12, 2008, where it is included in the exhibition, Color Chart: Reinventing Color, 1950 to Today. The show features the enamel plates pieces, Binary Combinations, (1971) and Equivalents (1970).
Jennifer Bartlett’s works are in the collections of The Museum of Modern Art, NY; the Whitney Museum of American Art, NY; the Philadelphia Museum of Art, PA; the Houston Museum of Fine Arts, TX; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, CA; the Smithsonian Museum of American Art, Washington, DC; and the Dallas Museum of Fine Arts, TX; among others. Jennifer Bartlett was born in 1941 in Long Beach, CA. She currently works and lives in New York.