Wikipedia entry
Neil Jenney is a self-taught artist born on November 6, 1945 in Torrington, Connecticut. He attended Massachusetts College of Art in 1964. In 1966 he moved to New York City where he currently resides. His painting style was described by the art critic Marcia Tucker in 1978 as Bad Painting, a description which he has embraced. Jenney describes his style as realism, but it is an idiosyncratic use of the word on his part, meaning: a style in which narrative truths are found in the simple relationships of objects. His body of work during 1969–1970, which is the period for which he was first known, was a reaction to minimalism and photo-realism. The work's impact was large for such a brief period: according to New York Times art critic Roberta Smith "in those two years Mr. Jenney helped put representational painting on a new course and established precedents for the art of the 1970s, 80s and 90s." Often, Jenney's work of this period depicted pairs of objects which had evocative cause and effect relationships (such as a saw and a piece of cut wood, as are depicted in the 1969 piece Sawn and Saw.) In an April 15, 2001 review in the New York Observer of his show of work from the late 60s and early 70s at Gagosian Gallery, Mario Naves said that the paintings: "...aren't really bad at least not bad bad. That pejorative adjective, in Mr. Jenney's case, comes with scare quotes a mile high and connotes an art that combines the dead-end figuration of Pop, the dead-end materiality of Minimalism and a sense of humor that is, if not dead-end, then sharply deadpan. Mr. Jenney painted the pictures during the heyday of Conceptual Art, and if they were, in part, a rebuff to its disembodied verities, they also partook of its intellectual detachment." His painting Here and There (1969), which depicts a white fence dividing a field of drippy, green brushstrokes, was in the 2004 exhibition The Undiscovered Country at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles. His work is in many museums including the Museum of Modern Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington D.C. He currently shows with the Barbara Mathes Gallery. His painting "Meltdown Morning" is on display at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
Information from Wikipedia, made available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License
Getty record
Jenney's atmospheric canvases feature lonely landscapes. Other times, tonally painted canvases are housed in dark frames painted with cryptic titles.
Artist, Conceptual Artist, Painter, Sculptor
Neil Jenney
Information from Getty’s Union List of Artist Names ® (ULAN), made available under the ODC Attribution License


8 works online



If you would like to reproduce an image of a work of art in MoMA’s collection, or an image of a MoMA publication or archival material (including installation views, checklists, and press releases), please contact Art Resource (publication in North America) or Scala Archives (publication in all other geographic locations).

MoMA licenses archival audio and select out of copyright film clips from our film collection. At this time, MoMA produced video cannot be licensed by MoMA/Scala. All requests to license archival audio or out of copyright film clips should be addressed to Scala Archives at [email protected]. Motion picture film stills cannot be licensed by MoMA/Scala. For access to motion picture film stills for research purposes, please contact the Film Study Center at [email protected]. For more information about film loans and our Circulating Film and Video Library, please visit

If you would like to reproduce text from a MoMA publication, please email [email protected]. If you would like to publish text from MoMA’s archival materials, please fill out this permission form and send to [email protected].


This record is a work in progress. If you have additional information or spotted an error, please send feedback to [email protected].