Lot Content

Global notice COVID-19 Important notice
Jennifer Bartlett (b. 1941)
Property from the Estate of Daniel W. Dietrich II
Jennifer Bartlett (b. 1941)


Jennifer Bartlett (b. 1941)
oil on canvas, in five parts
each: 84 x 60 in. (213.4 x 152.4 cm.)
overall: 84 x 300 in. (213.4 x 762 cm.)
Painted in 1983.
Paula Cooper Gallery, New York
Acquired from the above by the present owner, 1988
Jennifer Bartlett, exh. cat., Minneapolis, Walker Art Center, 1985, pp. 68-70 (illustrated).
New York, Paula Cooper Gallery, Jennifer Bartlett: Recent Paintings, October 1983.
Greenvale, Long Island University, Hillwood Art Gallery, Reflections: New Conceptions of Nature, May-July 1984.
San Francisco, John Berggruen Gallery, Works from the Paula Cooper Gallery, October-November 1986, pp. 6-7 (illustrated).
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and Water Mill, Parrish Art Museum, Jennifer Bartlett: History of the Universe: Works 1970-2011, June 2013-July 2014, pp. 44-45, 103, no. 4 (illustrated).

Brought to you by

Joanna Szymkowiak
Joanna Szymkowiak

Lot Essay

Jennifer Bartlett’s unique painting style combines representation and abstraction to create lush, multi-part, large-scale landscape scenes. Bartlett, a California native, studied at the Yale School of Art and Architecture at the peak of the minimalist movement, learning under the instruction of already established and influential artists such as Robert Rauschenberg, Alex Katz, Jim Dine, James Rosenquist, and Claes Oldenberg. Her fascination with dislocated views allows her to recreate mundane landscapes in which there is no narrative, and no changing subject, creating a lyrical conversation between space and abstraction through her painterly techniques. In this 1983 five-part large-scale landscape painting entitled Wind, Bartlett is able to unleash the power of nature as its beauty activates the viewer to become engaged with the landscape. Here, Wind presents viewers with multiple views of the same scene, placing an emphasis on the role of the viewer as the active participant in the changing landscape as the five painted panels act as one larger work. Its monumental scale portrays the sense that the beauty of nature, as Bartlett sees it, is overwhelming. This five-part landscape resembles the wall-sized interior paintings of Bonnard, and also bears resemblance to pieces by Vuillard and other Nabis painters. Bartlett also displays the influence of Post-Impressionist avant-garde artists through her brushy, sweeping movements through the large canvases. Though the canvases portray the same scene, the different perspectives of the trees bending and moving with the intensity of the wind gives a threatening element in such a large-scale landscape painting. The viewer is situated within this lush landscape and is undistracted by the separate points of view, yet still engaged with the cool colors and the repetitive compositions that serve as the vehicle for experimentation with the art historical traditions of landscape painting. The screen of trees in the background of the landscape creates space as well as allows the viewer to situate themselves in the landscape, using Bartlett's motif of the house that provides for these multiple perspectives. Bartlett is known for her logical plate pieces and shaped canvases as well as for her more recent blob paintings. Her paintings have allowed her to take ownership over a signature style that combines representational art with abstract art, a unique painterly style that is employed in her monumental yet simple imagery and experimentation. Her work is represented in large private and public collections such as the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C., the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York and the Tate Gallery, London, among many others.

More from Post-War and Contemporary Art Morning Session

View All
View All