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Paul Jenkins
Phenomena Break of Dawn
gouache on arches paper
Sheet: 30 × 42 inches (76.2 × 106.7 cm)Framed: 38 3/8 × 50 1/16 inches (97.5 × 127.2 cm)
Credit Line
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Dwight H. Emanuelson.
Accession Number
A Kansas City native, William Paul Jenkins studied at the Art Students League in New York from 1948 to 1952. He came to know many members of the New York avant-garde; Jackson Pollock and Mark Tobey were particularly influential to his art. In 1953 Jenkins moved to Paris, where he lived for decades, experimenting freely with form and technique, as many of his American contemporaries were doing across the Atlantic. Jenkins’s fluid abstractions were commercially and critically successful in the 1950s Parisian art world. In later life he has lived in both Paris and New York. Jenkins and his colleagues, many of whom are considered the second generation of abstract expressionists, largely abandoned the paintbrush, employing innovative methods to manipulate the composition before the pigment dried. Jenkins preferred to scrape the surface with blades. He titled his gentle, thoughtfully controlled, color-field works “Phenomena,” followed by an identifying word or phrase.