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Transcending Definition: Jay DeFeo in the 1970s


Gagosian / San Francisco / Art

“I’ve always got to get down there,” the American artist Jay DeFeo (1929–1989) once said, “and show what is underneath everything.” DeFeo’s work entailed long periods of reflection: her painting The Rose (1958-66), a masterpiece almost sculptural in its thick impasto, was completed over eight thought-consuming years. DeFeo spent two decades creating cross-disciplinary works that include sculpture, painting, drawing, photography, and collage. In this exhibition, works on paper and masonite offer abstract forms in black and white. All steer away from traditionalism. —E.C.

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