As a painter, Jennifer Coates works in series. Early series are atmospheric, celestial, and centered around multiform, cell-like structures. Following this work, for four years she focused on a food paintings series that almost obsessively chronicles individual foods—s’mores, bagels, fruits, lasagna, candy bars—as if sitters for portraits. In her most recent series, Coates has honed in on natural wooded landscapes. Coates developed her semi-abstract lexicon of marks through the layered process of making large paintings from small paintings, made from drawings, made first from other drawings. In this way, Coates has slowly built up an abstracted language of broken branches and accumulations of dots-and-dashes that assemble into landscapes and dissipate into atmospheric fields. The dancing blocks of bright color that form her compositions are visibly inspired by the history of landscape painting, in particular early Modernism. Coates teaches a class on this period, which sparked her love for European painters Paul Klee, Henri Matisse, Joan Miró, and Piet Mondrian, as well as American painters Charles Burchfield, Arthur Dove, Marsden Hartley, and Georgia O’Keeffe.
New York, NY
Born 1973, Surrey, England
MFA Hunter College, New York, NY
BFA University of Pennsylvania and the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Philadelphia, PA