Jay DeFeo, ‘Mbili’, 1987, galerie frank elbaz

About Jay DeFeo

Jay DeFeo has been variously labeled as an Abstract Expressionist, a Beatnik, and a funk artist, though she personally did not identify with any movement. Often considered under-recognized in the canon of American art, DeFeo's 2013 retrospective at the Whitney Museum gave her groundbreaking oeuvre the long overdue attention it warranted. Her first body of work was influenced by Abstract Expressionism, though she would later make semi-representational works. DeFeo's influences ranged from Italian architecture to Asian, African, and pre-historic art. Her works were cross-disciplinary in medium, spanning sculpture, painting, drawing, photography, and collage. When painting, DeFeo applied her material thickly, often using a palette knife rather than a brush and mixing in unorthodox materials. Between 1958 and 1966, DeFeo created what became one of the best-known works of her career, The Rose—it had such thick impasto that it was considered a relief, or as DeFeo referred to it: “a marriage between painting and sculpture.” In other works she explored and reconfigured everyday objects.

American , 1929-1989, Hanover, New Hampshire, based in San Francisco, California