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Jay DeFeo: A Retrospective

Whitney Museum of American Art
New York, NY
February 28 – June 2, 2013


San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
San Francisco, CA
November 3, 2012 – February 3, 2013

Artworks by Jay DeFeo in the exhibition

Installation images

Exhibition Catalogue

By Dana Miller, with contributions by Michael Duncan, Corey Keller, Carol Mancusi-Ungaro, and Griel Marcus
Chronology by Diana Kamin and Meredith George Van Dyke
© 2012 by the Whitney Museum of American Art, Co-published with Yale University Press, New Haven

From the book jacket:

Jay DeFeo (1929–1989) came to the fore as part of a vibrant community of avant-garde artists, poets, and musicians in the 1950s in San Francisco. Her unconventional approach to materials and her intensive, physical method make her a unique figure in postwar American art. Although much has been written about her monumental painting The Rose (1958–66), the astoundingly diverse and compelling body of work she made over the course of four decades has yet to receive the attention it deserves.

In the first comprehensive monograph on DeFeo, Dana Miller looks at the breadth and daring of the artist’s work, her cross-disciplinary practice, her range of interests and influences, as well as pivotal moments in her career. In addition, Miller presents the broadest consideration to date of the lesser-known works from the 1970s and 1980s and dispels misconceptions about the artist. Greil Marcus explores the significance of titles in DeFeo’s work; Michael Duncan considers her early artistic milieu as a crucial context for her career choices; Corey Keller looks at the artist’s photographic oeuvre; and Carol Mancusi-Ungaro examines her materials and processes. The book features new photography, archival images, extensive documentation, and dozens of previously unpublished works.