The Guastalla Centro Arte gallery presents an exhibition by the American artist Paul Jenkins, born in 1923 in Kansas City and died in 2012 in New York. About 20 works will be presented in the exhibition, a large painting, various watercolors and some graphic works, mainly dating back to the period from the 1970s to the 1980s.
Trained in America in close contact with the artists of Action painting, in particular with Pollock and Rothko, friends whose role Jenkins also recognizes as teachers, he moved to Paris in the 1950s, where, in 1954, he held his first European exhibition . It was from this moment that an overwhelming attraction arose for those artists intent on re-establishing the linguistic code of European painting, such as Wols, Dubuffet, Fautrier, Michaux. From the study of color by Odilon Redon, Moreau, and especially of the artists of the Italian tradition, such as Pisanello, Piero Della Francesca, Giotto, Sassetta, but also Burri, drew the inspiration for his unique and recognizable style, which escapes definitions, to schools, to trends. Attracted by the primordial nature of color and its pure refraction on the white canvas, the artist combines streams of absolute colors that spread out on the canvas with a calm gesture: he makes them drop liquids on the paper or on the canvas, then directs them, corrects them, settles with an ivory blade, forcing them to concentrate, to stretch out to find their shape. The light that creates color is a decisive topic of his poetics: the prism often present in his painting is not the image, but the fundamental proof that light creates color.
Another pole in Jenkins' stylistic training is represented by the knowledge of the East, of Zen culture, which assumes, in his art, the role of link between American and European culture.
The titles of his works are preceded by the word “Phenomena”, “The phenomenon for me means the capture of reality in its perpetual metamorphoses, at the same time the act of painting and its result”, “I can define myself as an abstract phenomenist, one who faces reality in motion”, explains Jenkins, inventing a new definition.
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