San Francisco

Jay DeFeo, Crescent Bridge I, 1970–72, synthetic polymer and mixed media on plywood, 48 x 66 1/2".

San Francisco

“Jay DeFeo: A Retrospective”

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA)
151 Third Street
November 3, 2012–February 3, 2013

Curated by Dana Miller

In 1958, Beat ingénue Jay DeFeo began work on a silvery mixed-media painting known as The Rose; it would consume her for the better part of eight years and eventually stand eleven feet tall, weighing nearly a ton. First made public by Bruce Conner—who filmed the object’s defenestration from DeFeo’s Fillmore Street studio in 1965—The Rose has long afforded a romantic mythologizing of DeFeo’s biography, to the extent that her other paintings, drawings, wire sculptures, photographs, jewelry, and collages are still virtually unknown. This retrospective, organized by the Whitney Museum of American Art’s Dana Miller, should help to correct that occlusion by bringing out more than 130 examples of DeFeo’s production between 1951 and 1989, along with a catalogue containing essays by Miller, Michael Duncan, Corey Keller, Carol Mancusi-Ungaro, and Greil Marcus.