Jess

Paintings

December 8, 2011 – January 21, 2012

Hiding Little in Big
1959
oil on canvas
40 x 72 inches
PRIVATE COLLECTION

Bañalbufar Window
1955
oil pastel and Gui crayon on wrapping paper
37 x 44 inches

Four O'Clock Shadow of Purple Papier Mâché
1955
oil wash on unsized canvas
39 x 26 inches

Don Quixote's Dream of the Fair Dulcinea
1954
oil on canvas
40 x 52 inches

Ex. 1-Laying a Standard, Translation #1
1959
oil on canvas
23 1/2 x 15 inches

The Felon
1966
mixed media on masonite
13 x 16 inches

Taking a Look
1954
oil pastel on paper
13 1/2 x 16 1/2 inches

Moonset at Sunrise
1963
oil on canvas
31 x 24 3/4 inches

Almost Daybreak
1958
oil on canvas
29 x 22 inches

Tactile Images
1959
oil on canvas
22 1/2 x 11 1/2 inches

Model in Studio 15, #1
1950
oil on canvas
44 x 48 inches
SOLD

'Danger Don't Advance,' Salvages IX
c. 1990
oil on canvas
44 x 8 3/4 inches
PRIVATE COLLECTION

Model in Studio 15, #2
1950-66
oil on canvas
46 1/2 x 38 1/2 inches

Hyakinthos - Apollon
1962
oil on canvas
57 x 30 inches

Petals of Paint
1964
oil on plywood
16 x 12 inches
PRIVATE COLLECTION

Mary Butts Landscape
1953
oil on canvas
14 1/2 x 14 1/2 inches
PRIVATE COLLECTION

Fairy Tale Street
1953
oil crayon on cardboard
8 x 6 inches

He Restoreth my Soul; Psalm 23
1962
oil on canvas
12 x 16 inches

Watching it Boil Over
1961
oil on canvas
12 x 24 inches

Press Release

The Tibor de Nagy Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of paintings by the celebrated painter and collage artist Jess (Collins), a leading light of the San Francisco art scene from the 1950s until his death in 2004. Jess remains among the most original artists of the second half of the 20th century. This marks the gallery’s third solo exhibition of the artist’s work, and the first devoted exclusively to his paintings.

The exhibition will comprise rarely-seen works gathered from the Jess Collins Estate as well as several private collections in California and New York. The paintings were completed during the 1950s and 1960s, with the exception of his “last painting,” which the artist had worked on many years before but was only finished in 1990. The subject matter ranges from thickly painted mythic landscapes to enigmatic, personal portraits.

Jess studied painting at the California School of Fine Arts (now the San Francisco Art Institute). His teachers included some of the most influential West coast painters of the period, including David Park, Elmer Bischoff, and Clyfford Still. During this time, Jess met poet Robert Duncan, who would become his lifelong partner, and frequent collaborator. They were an influential force in the San Francisco artistic community, bringing together painters and poets, organizing exhibitions and readings.

Jess’s work became known to a broader public after his work was included in a number of influential museum exhibitions including in 1961 “The Art of Assemblage” at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, “Pop Art U.S.A.” at the Oakland Art Museum in 1963, and “American Collages,” a traveling exhibition that was organized and presented at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, in 1965.

His work was featured in a number of prestigious museum group exhibitions throughout the 1960s and 1980s, including exhibitions at The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, The Art Institute of Chicago, and The Whitney Museum of American Art. In 1993-1994 a comprehensive survey of the artist’s work traveled to the Albright Knox Art Gallery, Walker Art Center, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and the Whitney.

An exhibition catalogue with an essay by John Yau is available.