Jay DeFeo: A Retrospective Audio Guide Playlist
This audio guide features commentary by artist Jay DeFeo, Dana Miller, curator of the permanent collection, Whitney Museum of American Art, Leah Levy, Director, The Jay DeFeo Trust, Corey Keller, associate curator of photography, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Greil Marcus, writer and critic, Ursula Cipa, and Fred Martin, friends of DeFeo.
JAY DEFEO: This became my jewelry period.
NARRATOR: Jay DeFeo, speaking in 1980.
JAY DEFEO: Actually it was only intended to be small sculptures, but because it kind of leant itself to practical application many of these pieces later became jewelry. And I was heavily involved in making these pieces for about three years.
NARRATOR: DeFeo became ambivalent about making jewelry—she began to feel that it required her to approach her art like an assembly line. But objects like this copper pin were important to her. In these works, she refined what she called her "visual vocabulary"—the formal language that developed in Florence. Concentric circles, like the ones in this pendant, became very important. She frequently gave her works very distinct centers that seemed to either radiate outward or provide a window or aperture into their center. She explored these formats on a small scale in objects like this one, and continued to develop them as her career went on.
DeFeo's interest in making these small objects intensified after moving into a small, low-rent studio. And her reasons for shifting the production of those objects toward jewelry or wearable art were also financial.
DANA MILLER: What happened [laughs] was she actually was arrested for shoplifting paint.
NARRATOR: Dana Miller.
DANA MILLER: She was looking to creating oil paintings again in a serious way for the first time, and she didn't have enough money to pay for paint. In her first and only attempt to shoplift, because she was so inept and so inexperienced, she got caught. She felt the need to create more . . . I think what would be considered conventional jewelry pieces, as a way of supporting herself. She lost some of the part-time teaching. She had to find a means of supporting herself through her art.
- 400 Introduction to Jay DeFeo: A Retrospective
- 401 Jay DeFeo, Untitled (Florence), 1952
- 401 2 Jay DeFeo, Untitled (Florence), 1952 — Level 2
- 402 Jay DeFeo, Untitled, c. 1953
- 403 Jay DeFeo, Untitled, c. 1953-55
- 404 Jay DeFeo, Landscape with Figure, 1955
- 404 2 Jay DeFeo, Landscape with Figure, 1955
- 405 Jay DeFeo, Untitled (Everest), from the Mountain series, 1955
- 405 2 Jay DeFeo, Untitled (Everest), from the Mountain series, 1955 — Level 2
- 406 Jay DeFeo, Blossom, 1958
- 408 Jay DeFeo, The Verónica, 1957
- 408 2 Jay DeFeo, The Verónica, 1957
- 409 Jay DeFeo, The Jewel, 1959
- 410 3 Jay DeFeo, The Rose, 1958–66 — Level 3
- 411 Jay DeFeo, After Image, 1970
- 412 Jay DeFeo, Tuxedo Junction, 1965/1974
- 413 Jay DeFeo, Crescent Bridge II, 1970–72
- 414 Jay DeFeo, Untitled, 1973
- 415 Jay DeFeo, Untitled, from the Tripod series, 1976
- 416 Jay DeFeo, Masquerade in Black (Loop System No. 4), 1975
- 417 Jay DeFeo, Pend O’Reille No. 2, from the Eternal Triangle series, 1980
- 417 2 Jay DeFeo, Pend O’Reille No. 2, from the Eternal Triangle series, 1980 — Level 2
- 418 Jay DeFeo, Verdict No. 1, 1982
- 419 Jay DeFeo, Untitled, 1987
- 420 Jay DeFeo, Seven Pillars of Wisdom No. 3, 1989
- 421 Jay DeFeo, Dove One, 1989
- 422 Jay DeFeo, White Water, 1989