© The artist
Photo © The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, by Elie Posner

Jennifer Bartlett

American, born 1941

Coming to Shore,


Oil on canvas and enamel paints on silkscreen grid on baked enamel steel plates,
182.9 x 378.5 cm
Gift of Anna Marie and Robert F. Shapiro, New York, to American Friends of the Israel Museum

Combining abstraction and representation in her creative practice, contemporary New York artist Jennifer Bartlett often chooses mundane subject matter, generating meaning as she analyzes structure, geometry, seriality, and the edges of a painting.

Wedding the handmade and the mechanical, Coming to Shore is a two-part conversation between a painted triangle (varied shades of light blue with a yellow tip) and square metal plates (one gold and twenty blue, with varying autographic marks) that complete a triangle inverse to the painted one. After noticing the metal signs in New York’s subways, Bartlett began using the plate pieces that established her reputation during the heyday of Minimalism and Conceptual art, in the mid- to late 1960s. Durable, portable, and flexible, the steel plates served as “hard paper that could be cleaned and reworked,” she said, adding: “I wanted a unit that could go around corners on the wall [and] stack for shipping.” With deburred edges, baked enamel surface, and holes in each of its four corners, the one-foot square, cold-rolled steel plates were made by Gerson Feiner in a metal fabrication shop in New Jersey. The grid that is formed mimics the graph paper utilized by Bartlett and other artists in the 1960s and 1970s, and recalls the work of Bartlett’s friend the Minimalist artist Sol LeWitt. A methodical yet dynamic work, Coming to Shore merges the organic and inorganic, the conceptual and the perceptual.

Adina Kamien

Artists in Action

Jennifer Bartlett and Jackie Winsor: Women In Their Studios

Courtesy the artist, Paula Cooper Gallery, and Marianne Boesky Gallery; Photo © 2018 Takaaki Matsumoto/Courtesy Jennifer Bartlett Trust

Jennifer Losch Bartlett is an American artist. She is known for paintings and prints that combine the system-based aesthetic of Conceptual art with the painterly approach of Neo-expressionism.