Paul Jenkins


watercolor on paper
22 1/8 x 15 inches

A contemporary and friend of Abstract Expressionists Willem de Kooning, Mark Rothko, and Jackson Pollock, Paul Jenkins found his mature style of painting after he switched to acrylic in the 1960s. His poured paintings differ from Helen Frankenthaler and Morris Louis by his choice of acrylic and his decision to prime the canvas first, allowing him to manipulate the pools of paint to deliver intensely vibrant and luminous veils of color. After being inspired by Goethe’s color theories, Jenkins began titling all his work Phenomena followed by key phrases or emotions. This watercolor, Phenomena Outer Reach, carries with it the vibrancy and glow of his earlier paintings, as he expertly uses blank spaces of paper to balance the primary colors. The ephemeral beauty Jenkins develops in his technique connects to his spirituality and appreciation of nature, “structures that are eternal and constantly manifest themselves.” After painting at the Art Students League from 1948-1951, Jenkins traveled throughout Europe, and began splitting his time between New York and Paris in the 1960s. His work can be found in many museum collections, including MoMA, New York; the Hirshhorn Museum, Washington DC; and the Whitney Museum, New York.