About the artist
b. 1923 in Elizabeth, New Jersey, USA
d. 2016 in Louveciennes, France
Shirley Jaffe’s colorful geometric abstractions are full of associations inspired by her adopted hometown of Paris. Jaffe’s careful compositions recall the flat-yet fluid figure-ground relationships and stripped-down forms characteristic of Henri Matisse. With their flat geometric forms, lines, and amorphous shapes, her paintings have also invited comparisons to Fernand Léger’s circuses and Piet Mondrian’s Neoplasticism. Prior to the late 1960s, Jaffe painted in a gestural style, but abondoned it fearing that she was “destroying the essence of what we would call gesture” by reworking it until it was no longer pure.