30 Days of Philly Arts: Jennifer Bartlett retrospective at The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts

jennifer-bartlett-pafa-2Founded in 1805, the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts is the oldest art museum and art school in the country and has been housed at its present location in a Frank Furness/George Hewitt designed building since 1876. The building is a National Historic Landmark and its chronologically and thematically installed collection explores American art from the 1760s through today.

bartlett02_body[1]Jennifer Bartlett: History of the Universe —Works 1970-2011 is a traveling exhibition here through  October 13th that traces the career of one of the leading American artists of her time and one of the first female painters of her generation to be both commercially successful and critically acclaimed.

Bartlett received her MFA from Yale in 1965. She rose to prominence in the art world in 1976 with  with Rhapsody, regarded as “a tour­de­force postmodern pastiche of the history of modern art.” Rhapsody is composed of 987 12” screened steel plates, using the gallery space as part of the art by spanning walls.

Throughout her career, Jennifer Bartlett has been known for juxtaposing the representational with the abstract.  She also makes use of recurring images, particularly that of a house.  Though the basic form is simple, the incarnations are  varied, forcing the audience to consider the interplay between style and content. More recently, Bartlett has incorporated written word into her visual art by adding snippets of text and stories to paintings.

Museum hours and ticket information are here and while you’re there you can also see other exhibitions.

Jennifer Bartlett discusses her work.