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Paul Jenkins

American, 1923-2012

Born in Kansas City, the multimedia artist, poet and playwright Paul Jenkins began his studies at Kansas City Art Institute and the Art Students League in New York City. After his discharge from military service at the end of February 1946, he briefly studied playwriting with dramatist George McCalmon at the Carnegie Institute of Technology in Pittsburgh. Thereafter, Jenkins spent four years studying with Japanese-American artist Yasuo Kuniyoshi in New York City. His first solo exhibitions were held at Studio Paul Facchetti in Paris in 1954 and the Martha Graham Gallery in New York City in 1956. Over the past 30 years, numerous retrospectives have been curated across the globe and Jenkins’s work can be found in national collections from Europe and the United States to Israel, Australia and Japan. 

The diversity of Jenkins’s work springs from a wealth of eclectic influences. Some of his earliest works included what he called "interior landscapes” influenced by ancient natural forms. Frequent student visits to the Frick Collection in New York fostered a love of the great masters, while trips to the renowned Eastern collection of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City evoked powerful responses to a monumental Chinese fresco of Buddha, polychrome sculptures of the enlightened Bodhisattva, the Buddhist goddess of mercy Kuan-Yin, Indian bronzes of Hindu god Shiva and statues of meditative Buddhist lohans. Serving in the US Naval Air Corps during the Second World War, Jenkins painted watercolours of Japanese Kabuki dancers and read the ancient Chinese poetic teachings of the I Ching and Lao Tse Tung’s Tao Te Ching, described by him as "masterpieces in simplicity.” Jenkins’s discovery of psychoanalyst Carl Jung’s book Psychology and Alchemy was as illuminating for his practice as were formative meetings with dancer Martha Graham, architect Frank Lloyd Wright and Abstract Expressionist painters Mark Rothko, Jackson Pollock and Barnett Newman. 

Concerned with colour and texture, nearness and distance as well as reality and mysticism, Jenkins’s work — considered to be part of the second wave of Abstract Expressionism — is a spiritual meditation on the nature of chance, balance, synchronicity, change and transformation. His ejection from an early art class in Kansas City for eating the still life appears instructive: "For me the pear is to be eaten and experienced, not painted.” Jenkins sought to reject the traditional Neo-Platonic approach to art as well as life in favour of a Taoist concern for the “present moment.” In this sense his paintings become spiritual reflections on the transitory present, life merely a rippled dance upon the water’s surface. Jenkins’s death in 2012 and the subsequent release of important works onto the market by his estate increased global interest in his work and they have grown in value and popularity. Jenkins’s works can be found in public and private collections worldwide.

(Biography provided by Stern Pissarro Gallery)

Average Sold Price
$4,220
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Phenomena Bending Wind Reed - Original Oil and Acrylic by P. Jenkins - 1978
By Paul Jenkins
Located in Roma, IT
Phenomena Bending Wind Reed is an original oil on canvas painting realized by the American artist Paul Jenkins in 1978. The piece is hand signed in the lower center, titled and date...
Category

1970s Abstract Paul Jenkins

Materials

Oil, Acrylic

Phenomena Tong Grimace by Paul Jenkins - Abstract Expressionist painting, 1964
By Paul Jenkins
Located in London, GB
Phenomena Tong Grimace by Paul Jenkins (1923-2012) Acrylic on canvas 76 x 100 cm (29 ⁷/₈ x 39 ³/₈ inches) Signed lower right, Paul Jenkins Signed and titled twice on the reverse Exec...
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1960s Abstract Expressionist Paul Jenkins

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Canvas, Acrylic

Phenomenon High Vortex
By Paul Jenkins
Located in Palm Desert, CA
A painting by Paul Jenkins. "Phenomenon High Vortex" is an abstract expressionist painting, acrylic on canvas in a bright, multi-colored palette by Post-War artist Paul Jenkins. It i...
Category

Mid-20th Century Post-War Paul Jenkins

Materials

Canvas, Acrylic

Phenomena: Continental Shelf-Poster, New York Graphic Society
By Paul Jenkins
Located in Clinton Twp, MI
"Phenomena: Continental Shelf"-Poster featuring artwork by Paul Jenkins. Distributed by New York Graphic Society Ltd. Printed in Italy, dated 1981. The piece is in Good/Fair Conditio...
Category

1980s Paul Jenkins

Materials

Lithograph

Earth Day, Colorful Abstract Lithograph by Paul Jenkins 1971
By Paul Jenkins
Located in Long Island City, NY
Artist: Paul Jenkins, American (1923 - 2012) Title: Earth Day Year: 1971 Medium: Lithograph on Mourlot watermarked Wove Paper, signed in the plate Size: 29 in. x 21.5 in. (73.66 cm x...
Category

1970s Abstract Expressionist Paul Jenkins

Materials

Lithograph

Phenomena by Return
By Paul Jenkins
Located in Palm Desert, CA
A painting by Paul Jenkins. "Phenomena By Return" is an abstract, acrylic on canvas painting executed in a bright palette primarily of reds, teals, blues and yellow by Post War artis...
Category

1960s Post-War Paul Jenkins

Materials

Canvas, Acrylic

Phenomena Rainbow Rush
By Paul Jenkins
Located in Palm Desert, CA
A painting by Paul Jenkins. "Phenomena Rainbow Rush" is an abstract expressionist painting, acrylic on canvas by American Color Theory artist Paul Jenkins. The artwork is signed in t...
Category

Late 20th Century Post-War Paul Jenkins

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Canvas, Acrylic

Untitled, hand-signed limited edition print
By Paul Jenkins
Located in New York, NY
Paul Jenkins, (American, 1923-2012) Untitled, Seeing Voice Welsh Heart, 1965 Hand-signed in pencil Lithograph 14 3/4" X 10" 40/265
Category

1960s Abstract Expressionist Paul Jenkins

Materials

Lithograph

  • Untitled, hand-signed limited edition print
  • Untitled, hand-signed limited edition print
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Galleries Featuring Paul Jenkins

Stern Pissarro Gallery
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Terri Kahan Fine Art
4.8 / 5
Heather James Fine Art
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Gallery Art
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Puccio Fine Art
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Sponder Gallery
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Antonio's Bella Casa
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Paul Jenkins art for sale on 1stDibs

1stDibs offers a wide variety of authentic Paul Jenkins art available for sale. If you're looking for a way to add color to a neutral corner of your living room or bedroom, you can find work that includes elements of orange, purple, blue and other colors. You can also browse art by medium to find Paul Jenkins in acrylic, lithograph, paint and more. Much of this artist's original work was created during the 20th century and is mostly associated with the abstract style. Not every interior allows for large Paul Jenkins art, so small editions measuring 7.880000114440918 inches across are available. Customers interested in this artist might also find the works of Amaranth Ehrenhalt, Toma Yovanovich and Dan Christensen. On 1stDibs, the price for these items starts at $200 and tops out at $275,000, while the average work can sell for $7,650.