Jay DeFeo

Jay DeFeo

At Marc Selwyn a year ago, “Jay DeFeo: The Texture of Color” included small paintings on paper from 1982-86. Those works imparted an inventive sense of discovery while also showcasing the artist’s formidable expressive talent. The same is true for her current show, “The Language of Gesture,” which harks back three prior decades to DeFeo’s incipient career as she produced her first significant body of work upon receiving her MA in art in 1951. This selection of 18 untitled paintings on paper spans 1951-54 in Paris, Florence, New York and Berkeley; the earliest were completed during an extended period of postgraduate travel, and the latest were done after returning to her Bay Area studio. A variety of marks, shapes, materials and palette evince the formative nature of this prolific era in DeFeo’s career, presaging the interests that she would continue to explore with increasing refinement. Some pieces appear as studies offering insight into her thought processes, while others stand alone as finished paintings. Lost in these evocative abstractions, one may find architectural forms, birds, mask-like faces, a postage stamp, a cow’s head, a volcano spewing smoke, a rain cloud and other tokens of the concrete world.

 

Marc Selwyn Fine Art
9953 South Santa Monica Blvd.
Beverly Hills, CA 90212
Show runs through Sep. 14