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."