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Alfred Jensen, Emission Spectrum, 1975, oil on canvas, 74 x 37" (188 x 94 cm) 37 x 37" (94 x 94 cm), two panels, each © 2019 Estate of Alfred Jensen / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Alfred Jensen

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b. 1903, Guatemala City
d. 1981, Livingston, New Jersey

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Alfred Jensen studied painting at the San Diego Fine Arts School and in Munich under Hans Hofmann.

After moving to the United States in 1934, his patron Saidie Alder May encouraged him to pursue his interest in color theory and pattern. Jensen's intricately organized diagrams reflect his distinctive conceptual approach, begun in the late 1950s when he started to refine his wide-ranging studies of systems and philosophies—from theories of color and light, mathematics, and the Mayan calendar, to scientific formulations—into multicolored checkerboards. He used mathematical systems to construct two-dimensional grid paintings and demonstrate color theories, but the work itself is metaphorical, referencing pre-Colombian and Asian cultures, textiles, and divination.

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Alfred Jensen, The River Diagram: Lo Shu, 1971, oil on canvas, 60 x 60" (152.4 x 152.4 cm) © 2019 Estate of Alfred Jensen / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

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Alfred Jensen, Galaxy I and Galaxy II, 1958, oil on canvas, 46 x 80" (116.8 x 203.2 cm) two panels, each: 46 x 40" (116.8 x 101.6 cm) © 2019 Estate of Alfred Jensen / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York