Jennifer Bartlett: History of the Universe

Jennifer Bartlett, Eleven A.M., 1991–92, oil on canvas (Smithsonian American Art
Jennifer Bartlett, Eleven A.M., 1991–92, oil on canvas (Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, DC)

Jacob Feige reviews the exhibition Jennifer Bartlett: History of the Universe - Works 1970-2011 at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, on view through October 13, 2013.

Feige writes: "Nearly forty years after Jennifer Bartlett first gained attention in the 1970s, her painting practice encompasses a greater variety of approaches than perhaps any other well-known living painter. If others embracing such a variety often define their practices by deliberate disparity—Gerhard Richter most famously—Bartlett forms a cohesive consciousness in her work, built with a striking range of methods: dots, text, photorealism, geometric pattern, and much more, sometimes separately, often all at once. History of the Universe – Works 1971-2011 is a retrospective of Bartlett’s work, currently at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, skewed towards her representational tendencies. More interestingly, it is a qualitative glimpse into the artist’s thinking, where pattern, intense memory, and everyday life coexist seamlessly."