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Paul Jenkins at McNay Art Museum

November 5, 2019

Four monumental paintings and 26 watercolours made by Paul Jenkins for his dance-drama Shaman to the Prism Seen, performed at the Paris Opera’s Salle Favart in 1987, are currently on view in the group exhibition Painting for Performance at the McNay Museum of Art in San Antonio, Texas. Jenkins’ lifelong involvement with the theatre is little known, yet is an enduring and powerful force in his creative expression:  Shaman to the Prism Seen was his most significant engagement. For this dance-drama, he conceived and wrote the libretto, painted original sets and costumes and chose the music. In 1986 in his New York studio, the artist painted the 4 original canvases for the stage, each approximately 300 x 90 inches. 

This exhibition offers a unique opportunity to view rarely seen costumes and backdrops from productions created by a number of important artists, including Georges Rouault, David Salle / Jeff Koons and Terry Winters. Designs are complemented by paintings and prints by the artists. The renowned Tobin Collection of Theatre Arts at the McNay Art Museum is home to more than 12,000 objects representing all aspects of stage design, and over 2,000 rare books on art and performance. The collection emphasizes European and American stage design from the 1500s to the present. Painting for Performance is sponsored by The Tobin Theatre Arts Fund.

Painting for Performance runs from 12 September to 8 December at the McNay Art Museum, San Antonio, Texas.