Jennifer Coates

Sharpe-Walentas Studio Program

20 Jay Street, Suite 720

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.

About Sharpe-Walentas Studio Program

The Sharpe-Walentas Studio Program awards rent-free non-living studio space to 17 visual artists for year-long residencies in DUMBO, Brooklyn. Its mission is to provide working studio space and community for artists. Artists are selected annually based on merit from a competitive pool of applicants by a professional jury comprised of artists and members of the SWSP Artists Advisory Committee.

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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.