Paul Jenkins



Paul Jenkins (1923-2012) was a major American abstract painter who first established his reputation in post-war France.   

Along with artists such as Sam Francis and Jack Youngerman, Jenkins worked mostly in Paris in the 1950s. As a result, his work developed in tandem with, rather than following the New York School. 

Jenkins, like the aforementioned artists, came to Paris because of the famous G.I. Bill which covered veterans' tuition and other expenses while studying. Jenkins would settle in Paris around 1953; however, by 1960 he had a reputation on both sides of the Atlantic, becoming one of the most recognizable and commercially successful abstract artists. 

Jenkins’ innovative approach aligned him with the Abstract Expressionists. Known for avoiding the paintbrush, the artist dripped paint, or watercolor directly onto his surfaces. His experiments with watercolor were unrivaled, and he is one of the only artists of his era to continuously explore the abstract potential of watercolors. 

This untitled work is a striking deviation from Jenkin's distinct aesthetic. A heavy wash of midnight black sweeps across the surface of the work, revealing a glimpse of Jenkin's signature diaphorous forms in the bottom right corner. Shades of fuschia, blood orange, tangerine, and cobalt blue shine through in colorful veils that coexist and interact together, creating a subtle abstraction full of life and movement. 

Jenkins' works can be found in the permanent collections of many of the most prestigious institutions globally including the Tate (London), the Museum of Modern Art (NY), the Guggenheim Museum (NY), the Smithsonian Museum (NY), and the Stedelijk Museum (Amsterdam) to name a few.  

Questions about this piece? Contact us or call +1.416.704.1720. Visit our Toronto gallery on Thursdays or by appointment.

"Untitled" (aka "Black Field")

Circa 1978

Watercolor and gouache on paper

Signed by the artist bottom right

22.5"H 29.5"W (work)

29.5"H 36.75"W (framed)

Framed with museum glass

Very good condition 

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