Updated: Oct 6, 2021
This week we looked at the work of American artist Jennifer Losch Bartlett. Her work is a perfect segue from Monet and Impressionism last week , to contemporary art. She is a painter, printmaker, and conceptual artist. At first glance her work appears very simple, but it contains several “isms”; Constructivism, Minimalism, Impressionism ,Pointillism, Conceptualism, and more. She was born in 1941 in Long Beach, California, one of four children. Her father owned a construction company and her mother was a fashion illustrator .She attended Mills College in Oakland, California, receiving a BA in 1963, and a MFA from the Yale School of Art and Architecture . While at Yale, she studied with notable artists, Josef Albers, Jack Tworkov, Jim Dine, and Richard Serra, but she cites Mondrian as her major influence. She married medical student Ed Bartlett and taught at the University of Connecticut and in 1972 began teaching at the School of Visual Arts NY.
Bartlett is best known for her paintings and prints of familiar subjects of houses, gardens, oceans and skies combine elements of both representational and abstract art. She has been very consistent throughout her career. Early influences from her parents and growing up close to the ocean are reflected in her paintings and prints. Organic shapes representing nature , juxtaposed to linear and grid patterns are themes throughout her work .With her earliest well-known work, “Rhapsody “, Bartlett reinvented the mural form of Conceptual art.” Rhapsody” is a painting executed on 987 foot-square enamel-coated steel tiles arranged in a grid 7 plates tall by 142 wide .Spanning multiple walls, she incorporates the basic elements of art and four universal images; a house, a tree , an ocean, and a mountain, combined with geometric forms, and 25 shades of color.
During her career she has been in numerous galleries and is a recipient of the Francis J. Greenburger Award , the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters Award (1983) and the American Institute of Architects Award (1986). She was elected into the National Academy of Design in 1990.Her work is in permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY, the Museum of Modern Art NY, the Guggenheim Museum NY, the Whitney Museum of American Art NY, the National Gallery of Art Washington, D.C., and the Tate Gallery London.