Artist: Paul Jenkins
Title: Phenomena: Catherine Wheel
Medium: Lithograph Mounted to Linen Board
Image: 37" x 27 3/4"
Frame: 45 1/4" x 35 3/4"
Inscription: Signed, dated, and numbered
Condition: Very good quality overall
Documentation: Includes Gallery Certificate of Authenticity
"Phenomena: Catherine Wheel" is an abstract, colorful lithograph by Paul Jenkins that exemplifies his contribution to the post-war abstract expressionist movement. Like his contemporaries Jackson Pollock and Mark Rothko, Jenkins was interested in exploring new paint application techniques including paint pouring and the creation of translucent color veils. Much of his technique relied on the unseen elements of the art, including new ways to prime the canvas and paint manipulation techniques. Jenkins aimed to entirely eliminate the paintbrush as a tool in his artwork. For many abstract expressionists, the technique can become the focal point, at times overshadowing the finished artwork itself. Although the process is integral to Jenkins' body of work, he never lost sight of the integrity of the finished product; his artwork remains visually appealing in a way not always prioritized by his contemporaries.
Paul Jenkins' lithograph "Phenomena: Catherine Wheel" is part of an edition of 300 and is signed, dated, and numbered by the artist. It includes a gallery certificate of authenticity from Modern Artifact.
About Paul Jenkins
Paul Jenkins played a significant role in the development of global post-war art. Considered an integral participant in the Abstract Expressionist movement in New York and the L’Art Informel movement in Paris, his work also contributed to the color field movement. Born in 1923 in Kansas City, Missouri, Jenkins studied with Yasuo Kuniyoshi at the Art Students League of New York. After graduating, he traveled throughout Europe and presented his first solo exhibition at Studio Paul Facchetti in Paris. His work gained global notoriety throughout the remainder of the 1950s, with solo shows at galleries in Seattle and New York. The Whitney Museum of American Art purchased an original work for their permanent collection in 1956, and Peggy Guggenheim, arguably the world's best-known art collector purchased one of his works in 1959.
In the 1950s, Jenkins primarily worked with oil on canvas before progressing to acrylic in the 1960s. The 60s were also a time of great innovation in technique. Jenkins began using an ivory knife and further developed his method of priming the canvas. Both methods helped him create very sharp lines of delineation and translucent veils of color which would come to define his signature style. More than anything, Jenkins is renowned for his control of the paint and mastery of color. The Abstract Expressionist movement is often defined by the techniques used over the finished product of the artwork, but Jenkins drew from a range of contemporary influences that allowed his artwork to simultaneously showcase both the process and the finished product.
The 1970s and 80s saw an expansion of Paul Jenkins' artistic vocabulary. Although he had explored sculpture throughout his career, it became a focal point during the 1970s and 80s. Primarily rendered in steel and bronze, the sculptures are often more lifelike and literal than his paintings. Jenkins continued to work until he passed away in 2012. His artwork has been exhibited in numerous prominent global museum, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington D.C., the Tate Museum in London, and the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris.