Locks Gallery is pleased to present Chaos Theory (1972-2013), an exhibit centered on Jennifer
Bartlett’s career-long fascination with systems, color, and shape. A new book accompanies
the exhibition and further documents Bartlett’s abstract work, with an essay by Ann Landi.
“I get interested in following rules I select; I have found the visual results are always
surprising… [In Series VIII (Parabolas), 1971], I understand the visual phenomenon but
would not understand the explanation. But chaos theory made absolutely perfect sense
to me.” (Jennifer Bartlett, Bomb, 2005)
When applied to color, Bartlett’s self-imposed guidelines produce dizzying arrays, as hues
are methodically mixed, layered, and dotted side-by-side in endless permutations. While her
approach verges on the Conceptual, the works themselves are vibrant celebrations of line
“What she was doing sounded like Conceptual Art: she was using mathematical systems
to determine the placement of her dots. But the results-- all those bright, astringently
colored dots bouncing around and forming into clusters on the grid-- never looked Conceptual.”
Calvin Tomkins, 1985
This exhibit is the first to comprehensively trace this thread in Bartlett’s practice, debuting
her newest paintings on canvas, the ‘Blob’ paintings, and gathering works from three pivotal
series in her career: early plate pieces from the 1970s, shaped canvases from the early
2000s, and plate pieces relating to the 2008-2010 room-size installation Recitative.
This exhibition is presented at Locks Gallery, in conjunction with Bartlett’s traveling 40-year survey, Jennifer Bartlett: History of the Universe - Works 1970-2011, which debuts at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts on June 27, 2013. Bartlett’s first museum survey since 1985, the exhibit is curated by Klaus Ottmann and is accompanied by a catalog featuring an essay by Klaus Ottmann, an interview with Bartlett by Parrish Art Museum director Terrie Sultan, and an excerpt from Bartlett’s 1985 autobiography.
Jennifer Bartlett (b. Long Beach, CA, 1941) received her B.A. from Mills College, CA, and her B.F.A. (1964) and M.F.A. (1965) from Yale University, CT. Her works are in the collections of Baltimore Museum of Art, MD; Brooklyn Museum, NY; Cleveland Museum of Art, OH; Dallas Museum of Fine Arts, TX; Denver Art Museum, CO; Fogg Art Museum, MA; Houston Museum of Fine Arts, TX; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY; The Museum of Modern Art, NY; Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, MO; North Carolina Museum of Art, NC; Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, PA; Philadelphia Museum of Art, PA; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, CA; Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C.; Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, VA; Walker Art Center, MN; Whitney Museum of American Art, NY; Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, CT; and The Tate Gallery, London, England, among others.
Bartlett has been the subject of one person exhibitions at institutions including the Addison Gallery of American Art, Andover, MA; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN; The Brooklyn Museum, NY; The Tate Gallery, London, England; Baltimore Art Museum, MD; and The Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford, CT.
This is Jennifer Bartlett’s twelfth solo exhibition at Locks Gallery.
Locks Gallery is located at 600 Washington Square South in Philadelphia, PA. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 10am to 6pm.
For additional information, please contact Locks Gallery at 215.629.1000 voice, 215.629.3868 fax, or [email protected]