Jay DeFeo: A Symposium

From the 1950s the avant-garde artist Jay DeFeo (1929-1989) was a member of a vibrant bohemian community of artists, musicians, poets and writers based in San Francisco. Best known today for her magisterial painting titled The Rose (1958-1966), which the artist described as ‘a marriage between painting and sculpture’, over the course of her long career DeFeo experimented widely, and intensely, with a range of unorthodox materials, exploring the parameters and expansive limits of painting, sculpture, drawing, collage, photocopies and photography.

This one-day conference brings together a group of scholars based in the United States, Europe, and the UK, to discuss the work of DeFeo, shedding light on aspects of her work from a range of new perspectives. Speakers include Lucy Bradnock (Associate Professor University of Nottingham), Judith Delfiner (Associate Professor of Contemporary Art History, Paris Nanterre University), Pia Gottschaller (Senior Lecturer, The Courtauld), Suzanne Hudson (Associate Professor of Art History and Fine Arts, University of Southern California), Corey Keller (Curator of Photography and Acting Department Head, Photography, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art), Joy Mazurek (Assistant Scientist, Getty Conservation Institute), and Catherine Spencer (Lecturer, University of St Andrews).


4:30pm: Introduction by Jo Applin and Pia Gottschaller


4:40pm: Lucy Bradnock, “Jay DeFeo’s Bodies: Painting as a Muscular Principle”

5:00pm: Catherine Spencer, “Abstraction in Pieces”

5:20pm: Pia Gottschaller and Joy Mazurek, “The Dialectics of Painting”


5:40pm: Q&A

6:00pm: Break


6:10pm: Judith Delfiner, “Jay DeFeo: Xerox Images”

6:30pm: Suzanne Hudson, “Encore”

6:50pm: Corey Keller, “Sidestepping the Image Directly: The Growth of Jay DeFeo’s Cabbage Rose”


7:10pm: Q&A

7:25pm: Closing remarks by Leah Levy, Executive Director of The Jay DeFeo Foundation


Organised by Professor Jo Applin (The Courtauld) and Dr Pia Gottschaller (The Courtauld)

This event has passed.

28 May 2021

4.30pm - 7.30pm BST


Booking closes 30 minutes before the event start time.  
If you do not receive the log in details on the day of the event, please email researchforum@courtauld.ac.uk 

Supported by

Jay De Feo Foundation Logo
Large textured painting of an abstract grey rose
Jay DeFeo, The Rose (1958-1966), oil on canvas with wood and mica, 327.34 x 234.32 x 27.94 cm. JDF no. E1000. Whitney Museum of American Art; gift of The Jay DeFeo Foundation and purchase with funds from the Contemporary Painting and Sculpture Committee and The Judith Rothschild Foundation 95.170. Photograph: Ben Blackwell. Copyright 2021: The Jay DeFeo Foundation/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York