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Jay DeFeo, Untitled, 1987, photocopy, 11 × 8 1/2".

Jay DeFeo

Mitchell-Innes & Nash | Chelsea

Jay DeFeo, Untitled, 1987, photocopy, 11 × 8 1/2".

This exhibition—which focused on Jay DeFeo’s production following her three-year hiatus from artmaking after her completion of The Rose, 1958–66, her famous, one-ton painting of a burst of white light—gathered forty-nine pieces from the last fifteen years of the artist’s life, several of which were absent from her recent traveling US retrospective. DeFeo, whose early work was animated by jazz and Beat subcultures and by the varied frequencies coursing through the San Francisco Renaissance, was also well known for her round-the-clock, sedulous-yet-playful ingenuity. She worked quickly until the end; many of the pieces here were produced in the last four years of her life, the most industrious period of her career. DeFeo made more than two hundred works in 1989 alone, the year she died of lung cancer in Oakland, California, at age sixty.

Titled after a song famously recorded

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