Paul Jenkins Paintings Adorned Famous Films

PALM DESERT, CA.- Heather James Fine Art is presenting a special exhibition featuring the paintings of renowned Abstract Expressionist Paul Jenkins (1923-2012), whose translucent, undulating, and highly accessible work has been shown at major galleries and museums around the world. The exhibition is ongoing through May 30, 2016.

Jenkins was a painter without a paint brush. His intuitive approach to painting, first with oil paints and later acrylic, involved pouring paint directly on the canvas, allowing it to drip, bleed, and pool, while manipulating it with an ivory knife.

Although he occasionally used a brush to finish a painting, his fluid, luminous, psychedelic landscapes are void of paint strokes. Jenkin’s work has often been exhibited in the same venues as Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning, artists who shared his instinctual working method.

Included in the exhibition is a Jenkins painting that gained fame after being seen in the James Bond film, “Diamonds are Forever.” The untitled painting adorned the walls of the John Lautner-designed Elrod House in Palm Springs where a fight scene from the 1971 Bond movie was filmed.

Jenkins received further exposure from Hollywood in 1978 when his paintings had a starring role in Paul Mazursky’s, “An Unmarried Woman,” with Academy Award winning actor Alan Bates, who portrayed a New York artist. The paintings supposedly done by the Bates character were actually the work of Paul Jenkins.

Throughout the 1960s, Jenkins’ work was shown at major galleries and museums worldwide, including those in Tokyo, London, New York, Paris, and Amsterdam. In 1963, he took over de Kooning’s light-infused loft in Union Square where he worked until 2000.

Regarding his paintings, Jenkins once said, “I have conversations with them, and they tell me what they want to be called.” Until his death in New York City in June 2012, Jenkins continued to work in acrylic on canvas, as well as watercolor on paper.

Jenkins’ work is found in international museums and collections including The Whitney Museum of American Art, the Museum of Modern Art in New York and San Francisco, Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, and the Tate Gallery in London. Thousands of items from the artist’s archives are now at the Archives of American Art of the Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC.

Heather James Fine Art offers a rare look into art history’s past and present featuring a wide breadth of genres including Impressionist and Modern art, Post-War and Contemporary, American, Latin American, Old Master, Photography and Design.

The gallery uniquely showcases blue chip and cutting-edge contemporary art while maintaining a respect for the integrity of antiquity and classical masterpieces.

Heather James Fine Art is located at 45188 Portola Avenue in Palm Desert. For more information, please visit

Photo above: Paul Jenkins (1923-2012), Phenomena Slight of Hand, 1978. Watercolor on paper, 43 x 31 in