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Kathleen Jacobs

Minimal Art, Lyrical Abstraction

March 15, 2021

Kathleen Jacobs is an American artist known for her lyrical yet minimal canvases that engage both with the natural world and late 20th-century minimalism. After she started painting outdoors, first in the forests of Colorado and then in the woods of Massachusetts, she decided to use tree bark as the surface for her works. Working with raw linen or canvas, Jacobs wraps and re-wraps the material on multiple tree trunks. It is then subjugated to various gessoes and rubs and left to absorb the influences of weather patterns and the trees' evolution. These paintings are left outdoors for as long as two years, allowing them to weather and mature, creating a unique surface. In the last phase, the artist moves these aged paintings back into the studio, painting and reworking the marks begun by her and taken up by her environment. Kathleen Jacobs attended Pine Manor College in Boston before relocating to Milan in 1980 to study graphic design at the Scuola Politecnica di Design (SPD). She lives and works in Great Barrington, MA.