Exhibition Views: Shirley Jaffe – Form As Experiment

VernissageTV (March 24, 2023) – The exhibition “Shirley Jaffe: Form as Experiment” at Kunstmuseum Basel is the first retrospective of the American abstract painter in Switzerland. Shirley Jaffe (1923-2016) was born in the United States and settled in Paris in the 1950s.

The exhibition at the Kunstmuseum Basel presents 113 works, from Shirley Jaffe’s early abstract expressionist works to the geometric paintings that are characteristic of her late oeuvre.

Shirley Jaffe – Form as Experiment

March 25 to July 30, 2023

Atelier de Shirley Jaffe, Paris, 13 octobre 2008, Kunstwerk im Hintergrund : Shirley Jaffe, "Bande Dessinée en Noir et Blanc", 2009, © 2023, ProLitteris, Zurich, © Bibliothèque Kandinsky, Centre Pompidou, MNAM-CCI / Jean-Christophe Mazur
Shirley Jaffe
Manyness by Shirley Jaffe

Born in New Jersey in 1923 as Shirley Sternstein, in 1949, the artist, now Mrs Jaffe, moved to Paris. Following her short-lived her marriage to the journalist Irving Jaffe, the painter decided to remain in France. Having soon established herself in the city, she held regular contact with the American “art expats” Norman Bluhm, Sam Francis, and Joan Mitchell, who had relocated to Paris somewhat later.

Her work dating from this period may be attributed to Abstract Expressionism, a form that sought to draw exclusively from its own resources and which consisted primarily of wildly applied fields of colour and gestures. Although, for the art market at the time, this amounted to a success formula Jaffe nevertheless decided to strike out in a different direction.


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