Paul Jenkins Post Expressionist paintings emphasizing light and color will be on view at the Crocker Art Museum in “Paul Jenkins: The Color of Light” from December 11, 2010 through February 20, 2011.
His signature style emerged during the 1950s and took its place alongside the achievements of the Abstract Expressionists and painters of the Color Field movement, yet Jenkins’ paintings do not fit either of these movements neatly. Instead Jenkins pursued an independent celebration of color and optical experience. This exhibition features 50 examples of the artist’s achievements in watercolor, as well as additional works on canvas.
The distinctive look of a Jenkins painting rests in his unorthodox approach to applying pigment. Over six decades, he has honed his manipulation of paint by pouring, pushing, and working wet-on-wet. His technique results in translucent, mystical veils of color that capture light. The spirituality expressed in the artist’s work embodies Jenkins’ continuing interest in Eastern religions and philosophy, the writings of Carl Jung, and his own desire to explore the inner recesses of his unconscious mind in a colorful, visual way.
Born in Kansas City, Missouri, and raised near Youngstown, Ohio, Jenkins first studied art at the Kansas City Art Institute. He arrived in New York City in 1948 and studied at the Art Students League under the well-known painter Yasuo Kuniyoshi. New York at this moment was a hotbed of artistic activity: Abstract Expressionism was at its height, and Clement Greenberg’s art criticism ruled the day. Jenkins met Jackson Pollock, Barnett Newman, and Mark Rothko, all of whom greatly influenced the emergence of Jenkins’ own style. Greenberg admired his paintings. In 1953, Jenkins met the French art critic Michel Tapié who also championed the new improvisatory manner of abstraction then evolving. From this experience, Jenkins derived an appreciation for gestural painting and a passion for Mediterranean light and color.
Thursday, January 13, 5-9 p.m.
Art Mix: I HEAR COLOR
Be inspired by the sensuous abstractions and vibrant colors found in the work of Paul Jenkins. Wear white and get “dressed” by local artists, make your own kaleidoscope, take the color swatch tour in the galleries, learn about color theory and optics with photographer Douglas Dertinger, draw in the galleries, and enjoy live music. Free with Museum admission. Art Mix is part of the program series Thursdays ’til 9. Sponsored by Bank of America.
Thursday, January 20, Noon
Lunch & Learn
Join us for an in-depth 30-minute talk about Paul Jenkins’, “Phenomena Intervening Mantle.” Participants are encouraged to enjoy lunch at the Crocker Cafe before or after the talk. The talk is free with Museum admission.
Tuesday, February 8, 6 p.m.
20/20: Bob Green on Paul Jenkins
Gallery owner Bob Green has been exhibiting and dealing post World War II Color Field and Abstract Expressionist art for more than 40 years. Green will offer some personal insight into the life and work of Paul Jenkins. Purchase tickets at crockerartmuseum.org or the Admission Desk. Registration required, limited seating. $6 members, $12 nonmembers.
Sunday, February 20, 3 p.m.
Classical Concert: Mark Valenti, Piano
Pianist Mark Valenti will perform works by American composers to complement the retrospective, “Paul Jenkins: The Color of Light,” in addition to performing a new work inspired specifically by Jenkins’ artwork. $6 members, $12 nonmembers.
The Crocker Art Museum, established in 1885, is one of the leading art institutions in Northern California. The Museum offers a diverse spectrum of special exhibitions, events and programs to augment its collections of Californian, European, Asian, African and Oceanic artworks. The Crocker is located at 216 O Street in Downtown Sacramento. Museum hours are 10 a.m.–7 p.m., Tuesday–Wednesday; 10 a.m.–9 p.m., Thursdays; 10 a.m.–5 p.m., Friday–Sunday. Every Third Sunday of the month is “Pay What You Wish Sunday” sponsored by Bank of America. For more information, call (916) 808-7000 or visit crockerartmuseum.org