In Memory of Jennifer Bartlett

  • Marianne Boesky Gallery and Paula Cooper Gallery are deeply saddened to announce that artist Jennifer Bartlett passed away on July...

    Marianne Boesky Gallery and Paula Cooper Gallery are deeply saddened to announce that artist Jennifer Bartlett passed away on July 25, at the age of 81. Bartlett’s visually bold, intellectually rigorous works drew inspiration from Minimalism, Abstract Expressionism, and Conceptualism, sometimes deploying strategies from all three movements within a single work. Often grounded in precise mathematical abstractions, Bartlett’s paintings and room-sized installations constantly questioned the restrictions of the grids or constraints she herself had imposed, resulting in dynamic compositions with deep poetic and aesthetic resonance.


    In 1968, Bartlett began working on the square steel plates on which she went on to create her most notable works. Rhapsody (1975-1976), a polyptych first installed at Paula Cooper Gallery filling the entirety of the gallery, included hundreds of these painted steel plates. That work is now part of the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art, New York. In 2018, Paula Cooper Gallery and Marianne Boesky Gallery took on shared representation of Jennifer Bartlett. We are grateful to Takaaki Matsumoto, David Lester, and Daniel Lipman of the Jennifer Bartlett Trust; to Jennifer’s studio manager, Joan LiPuma; to her daughter, Alice Carrière, and to her sister, Julie Matsumoto for their thoughtful and supportive collaboration during that time. “I have been honored to represent Jennifer and grateful for the opportunity to continue to shepherd her work forward in concert with the incredible team that has long surrounded her,” said Marianne Boesky.


    Bartlett’s first survey exhibition was held in 1985 and traveled to the Walker Art Center, the Brooklyn Museum, and the Museum of Art, Carnegie Institute. In 2006, her early enameled steel plate paintings were surveyed at the Addison Gallery of American Art. Klaus Ottman curated her second traveling survey exhibition in 2013-14, Jennifer Bartlett: History of the Universe—Works 1970–2011, which traveled to the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and the Parrish Art Museum. In 2014, the Cleveland Museum of Art exhibited all three of her monumental plate pieces, Rhapsody, Song, and Recitative in the exhibition Epic Systems. Bartlett’s works are in the collections of the Dallas Museum of Fine Arts, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the Museum of Modern Art, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Tate Modern, and the Whitney Museum of American Art, among many others.