Born in Kansas City, Missouri in 1923, Paul Jenkins settled in New York City in 1948 where he studied with Yasuo Kuniyoshi at the Art Students League for four years. In 1953, he travelled to Europe and, after working in Taormina, Sicily for three months, acquired an atelier in Paris and continued a lifelong sharing between New York and France.
His first solo exhibitions were held in Paris at Studio Paul Facchetti in 1954; in the US, at the Zoe Dusanne Gallery in Seattle in 1955; in New York in 1956 at the Martha Jackson Gallery, where he exhibited for two decades; and in London at Arthur Tooth & Sons in 1960, having shown in group exhibitions there from 1956. Early group exhibitions in the UK include New Trends in Paintings, the Arts Council of Great Britain in 1956 and 1957; annual group exhibitions at Arthur Tooth & Sons beginning in 1956 and continuing to 1964; Post-Picasso Paris at the Hanover Gallery (1957); Primitives to Picasso (1962) and Art USA Now (1963) at the Royal Academy in London.
In 1964, Jenkins accepted an invitation from Jiro Yoshihara extended to him in New York in 1958, to work with the Gutai in Osaka where he exchanged works with Gutai artists. These works were the foundation of a 2009 exhibition at the Pollock-Krasner House & Study Center in The Springs, New York, entitled “Under Each Other’s Spell”: Gutai and New York.
Retrospectives and solo exhibitions have taken place at the Kestner-Gesellschaft, Hanover (1964); the Houston Museum of Fine Arts and the San Francisco Museum of Art (1971-1972); Musée des Beaux-Arts of Charleroi (1974); Palm Springs Desert Museum, California (1980); Musée Picasso, Antibes (1987); Musées de Nice (1989); Basilica Palladiana in Vicenza (2000-2001); Palais des Beaux-Arts, Lille (2005); the Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento (2010); UB Anderson Gallery of the University of Buffalo (2010 and 2016); Museo di Pittura Murale, Prato (2014), among others.
The Redfern Gallery has worked directly with the artist since 2003 and, since 2012, with the artist’s estate.