Jacqueline Humphries

Born 1960 in New Orleans, LA
Lives and works in New York


Whitney Museum Independent Study, 1986
Parsons School of Design, New York, 1985
Yale University Summer Scholarship, 1984


Over three decades Jacqueline Humphries has committed to abstraction at its extreme. In the mid-2000s she began experimenting with reflective silver paint on canvas, a characteristic that has since become a signature of her work. Humphries’s iridescent surfaces create an unsettling relationship between the viewer and the painting, constantly shifting according to movement and time. Registering the colors and tones of their surroundings, the paintings present a mysterious play of shadows and light, suggestion and intimation. She has noted that one of her objectives is to make a work that never feels complete to a viewer. Humphries’s mark-making techniques serve her preference for the image to remain unresolved—she applies pigments one on top of another and then scrapes them away to reveal an enigmatic, layered picture plane. Describing her process, Humphries has said, “I start a painting by finishing it, then may proceed to unfinish it, make holes in it or undo it in various ways, as a kind of escape from that finitude.”

text courtesy of the Whitney Museum of American Art


Greene Naftali


Museum of Modern Art, New York
The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York
The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
The Tate Modern, London
Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY
The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
The Smithsonian Institution, D.C.