Paul Jenkins is a painter whose works are described as embodying the character and soul of postwar American abstraction. Known for his process of pouring paint onto the canvas, Jenkins’ works are characterized by vivid, jewel-toned colors. By directing the canvas to control the flow of paint, Jenkins achieves a luminous, diaphanous effect in his pigments.
Born in Kansas City, Missouri in 1923, he studied at the Kansas City Art Institute from 1936 until 1941. As a student at New York’s Art Students League from 1948 until 1952, he worked with Yasuo Kuniyoshi and came to be connected to the Abstract Expressionist movement. Jenkins moved to Paris for three years around 1953 as a means of avoiding such a direct association with Abstract Expressionism, but continued to be inspired by American artists Jackson Pollock and Morris Louis.
His works are included in the permanent collections of the Fogg Museum of Art at Harvard University, the Tate Gallery in London, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris. He died suddenly in 2012 at the age of 88 in Manhattan after a brief illness.