Jennifer Bartlett: Early Plate Work

January 21 - February 18, 2023
  • On view at Marianne Boesky Gallery 509 West 24th Street, New York, NY For sales inquiries, please contact Director Savannah...

    On view at Marianne Boesky Gallery

    509 West 24th Street, New York, NY

     

    For sales inquiries, please contact Director Savannah Downs: 

    savannah@boeskygallery.com

     

    Marianne Boesky Gallery presents a selection of Jennifer Bartlett’s early plate works to complement Jennifer Bartlett: Works on Paper 1970–1973, on view January 21 – February 18, 2023 in New York. 

     

    Bartlett began working on white enameled steel plates in 1968, and she would continue to return to the medium off and on for the next forty-five years. These ten black-and-white plate works offer a glimpse into Bartlett’s early practice, as she began to work out the rigorous, compulsive approach to artmaking that would occupy the artist throughout her career.

     

    In the works on view in this presentation, which date from 1970 through 1974, Bartlett establishes a systematic approach to artmaking. On the smooth, white surface of the tiles, Bartlett has silkscreened a custom grid mimicking the grid paper on which she was working during this same period. Within the rigid confines of the grids, she hand painted individual dots using the tip of her brush, in repetitive, often complex, motifs. In each work, she builds a system or a pattern, often refining and playing with it throughout the plate—removing a dot from one row, adding it to another, skipping a row here, replacing it there.


    In 1975, just a year after Barlett produced the last of the works on view in this presentation, she made Rhapsody. Composed of 987 of these one-square-foot plates of various motifs—dots, colors, houses, trees, lines, and shapes—the installation took over the entirety of Paula Cooper Gallery. Rhapsody, now in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art, has been installed in MoMA’s atrium twice, making Bartlett the only women artist to have her work installed in that space two times.