Jen Mazza was born in 1972 in Washington D.C. Mazza received her B.A. in Visual Art and Spanish Literature from Mary Washington College in Fredericksburg, Virginia (1994), and an M.F.A. in Visual Art from Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University (2001).
Significant awards include residencies at Yaddo (2005), the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts (2004, 2005, 2006), Blue Mountain Center (2006), and the Jentel Foundation (2004, 2008). Mazza was also granted a Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation Creative Fellowship to attend the Millay Colony in 2004 and returned again to the Colony in 2013.
In 2001 and again in 2008, the artist received Individual Artist Fellowships from the New Jersey State Council for the Arts, and in 2008 she was selected to be Artist in Residence at the Newark Museum. Her work is in the permanent collection of the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University.
Since 2001, Mazza’s paintings have been exhibited nationally and internationally including a one-person show at the Jersey City Museum. Her work is in the permanent collection of the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University.
Jen Mazza's recent paintings translate between the digital/machine-made and the artist-made. She engages with the idea that a painting is a machine: both object and system, at once receptive and productive. In each painting there is an apparent dualism between the hand and the machine: from her painterly negotiation of traces of the machine, the flaws in the images she references, to the tight brushwork in the utility patterns turned wall-paper. Often what appears to be an arbitrary scribble that reveals itself to be a tightly constructed shape that only emulates a gesture.
The artist explains, “in constructing a painting I look for ways that objects, images and marks can be combined to form conjunctions and disjunctions; to build a painting which is conceptually in motion; in the process of becoming // becoming meaning // becoming meaning-full. Sometimes this involves a correspondence, a conversation—or an intervention.”