Alfred Jensen (b. 1903, Guatemala City; d. 1981, Livingston, New Jersey) 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.
Pace Gallery is pleased to participate in the 31st annual edition of The Art Show with an exhibition dedicated to the renowned artist Alfred Jensen (1903 – 1981). The presentation continues the gallery’s long-held tradition of dedicating its booth at The Art Show to a single artist.
Using a bold polychromatic palette and gridded compositions, Jensen structured his works with overlapping systems of forms, colors, signs, and numbers. Drawing together approximately 10 paintings and works on paper, Pace’s presentation includes works from the late-1950s through the mid-1970s—showcasing the incorporation of gridded patterns and calligraphy that characterized much of Jensen’s work of the 1950s, and the evolution into increasingly intricate and diagrammatic works through the 1960s and 70s.
Jensen’s work is held in numerous institutional collections throughout the United States and abroad, including the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo; Dallas Museum of Art; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum; Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebæk; The Museum of Modern Art; National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, among others.