American artist, painter, and . She studied at Mills College, Oakland, CA (1960–63), and at the Yale School of Art and Architecture, New Haven, CT (1964–5). The progressive approach to taught at Yale and the nearby thriving art scene of New York were instrumental in her early development (1963–early 1970s). Bartlett's first one-person exhibition was in New York (1970).
Her ambivalent use of systems to establish an order and to oppose it allowed her to explore the material and the conceptual process of making images and objects. Rhapsody
(1975–6; priv. col., see exh. cat., p. 21), one of her best-known installations, consists of 988 plates covered with grids and hand-painted Testors enamel and hung on a wall (2.28×47.86 m). Each plate exists individually and in relation to its adjoining plate and may be read vertically or horizontally, creating a mesh of stylistic variability exploring both and non-figurative motifs. During the 1980s her works included In the Garden
(1980–81), which comprises 197 from memory, and models in a variety of materials such as , , brush and , conté, oil , and others. Her most important installations exploring the relationship between the painted image and the object include White House
and Yellow and Black Boats
(both 1985; London, Saatchi Col.).
Jennifer Bartlett: In the Garden, intro by J. Russell (New York, 1982)
Rhapsody: Jennifer Bartlett, intro. by R. Smith (New York, 1985) [notes by the artist]
Jennifer Bartlett: Recent Work (exh. cat., intro. D. Sobel; Milwaukee, WI, A. Mus., 1988–9)