Paul Jenkins

The Redfern Gallery

Born in 1923, Paul Jenkins has been exhibiting his paintings regularly since his first solo show in 1954, yet in recent decades his work has mostly flown under the critical radar. Even his moment of pop-cultural notoriety, when his studio and painting method were lent to the macho but sensitive character played by Alan Bates in Paul Mazursky’s 1978 movie An Unmarried Woman, is nearly forgotten—as such moments usually are, with any luck.

One reason for this neglect may be the difficulty in categorizing Jenkins’s work, which has much in common with both the Color Field painters and the Abstract Expressionists of his generation yet finally seems truly allied with neither group. Like the former, Jenkins eschewed the emphasis on the painter’s touch, the roughed-up tactile surface typical of many second-generation Abstract Expressionists, but he also shied away from the ethereal color stains

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