Bio / CV

Jane1

Jane Barthès inhabits an original world that has largely strayed from the usual career paths and institutions expected of an artist in favor of her artistic freedom. Her creative journey has been intensely personal, involving considerable travel about the globe. Each port of call has been an opportunity to explore and integrate the unique arts and cultures. It began with a comic strip in London in the 1980s. To this day, she considers herself primarily a draftswoman, forever looking to exploit the illusion of space in new ways. Her evolution has taken her from the comic strip, through portraiture, figurative narrative painting and finally abstraction. She has spent her time deconstructing and reconstructing all she knows about drawing and painting to better understand and construct the notion of the abstract in new ways.

The layers in her art have amassed over time. Notably, they involve a layman’s fascination with Quantum physics as well as a lifelong study of Zen philosophy. She is intrigued by the idea that beauty can result from chaos’; opposing concepts such as poetry and math are utterly interconnected. Her use of color is both bold and yet restrained. Her use of negative space is also required to do much of the work. Grounded in an intuitive approach she has developed over the years she seeks to share a distilled space for contemplation. This should never be confused with Minimalism, although she says she “flirts” with the movement but not in a way that a rigid movement favors the cool over the dramatic. It is a passionate product of her search for what is essential.

Barthès’ early work bathed in a love of European Expressionism, but she was always drawn to Geometric art. She says it took years to reconcile the two. As a result, her geometric forms are infused with a more expressive, Mediterranean energy that contributes in a fresh way to the American Geometric/MADI conversation. Underlying everything is her obsession with the intangible energy of the life force.

Barthès was born in Nigeria to a fiery Catalan, French father and a reserved English mother; this inherited duality has strongly impacted her work. She says, “I have turned my world upside down many times”. Those conscious acts of self-implosion may have at one time seemed random but have become reflective of her artistic point of view.

Barthès has trekked across the African continent as well as much of Asia and the developing world before attending Wimbledon School of Art at the University of London. Following graduation, she left the UK to spend a decade living and working in the South of France where she established herself as an abstract artist in London and France while also teaching life drawing and designing sets for theatre.

In 2005, curiosity and a desire for change lead her to travel to New Mexico, US, where the extremes of the desert inspired her work for 5 years. Barthès then returned to urban life, to Chicago in 2009, a place she calls home and where she is currently working in her studio full-time.

EDUCATION
BA with Honors in Painting from the London Wimbledon Art School, UK 1994

EXHIBITIONS/PROJECTS

2022
UIMA, Ukrainian Museum of Modern Art, Chicago, Illinois: (TBA)

2021
Joint Shows
Biennial, Geometric MADI Museum, Dallas, Texas: July – October, 2021
“pARTicles”, online show, Fermilab, Batavia IL: February

2020
Mural

“Until We Meet Again”, Chicago’s largest mural painted by 4 artists commemorating Oprah’s beginnings at Harpo Studios in the West Loop. Porte Apartments, 855 W Madison, Chicago, IL. Curated by B-Line, Chicago.
Joint Shows
“In Dialogue”, Governors State University Art Gallery, Chicago, IL; Feb – March, 2020.
“BUILD a Sculpture Show” (Dedicated to Mary-Ellen Croteau), Oliva Gallery Chicago, Chicago, Illinois; March – April.
“Hello World”, TransCultural Exchange.
“New Horizons”, Contemporary Curator Art Magazine; August – December

2019
Solo Shows
“An Alternative Molecular Universe”, Fermilab, Batavia, Illinois; December 2018 – February 2019.
“Molecules of Architecture”, 737 Michigan Avenue, Chicago IL(Nieman Marcus Building); June – September.

Joint Shows
Gallery Studio Oh!, Chicago IL; 2-person show; May – June.
“LandWorks”, Long Beach Island Foundation of the Arts & Sciences, Long Beach, New Jersey; June-July
“Show Your Paper”, Women Made Gallery, Chicago, Illinois; September – October.
11th Annual Geometric Gala, The Museum of Geometric and Madi Art, Dallas, Texas; October.
“SOFA Chicago”, Represented by Women Made Gallery, Chicago, Illinois; October – November.

2018
Solo Shows
“GRIDZ”, Pop-up show, Chicago, Illinois.
“An Alternative Molecular Universe”, Fermilab, Batavia, Illinois; December 2018 – February 2019.
Group Shows
“Stripes”, bgGallery, Los Angeles, CA.

2017
Solo Shows
Kit and Ace Designs INC., Chicago, Illinois.
Group Shows
Bridgeport Art Center – 5th Annual Art Competition, Chicago, Illinois.
2 person show – “Patterned Universes”, Hinsdale, Illinois.
2 person show – Mindfulness Center, Chicago, Illinois.
“Unpresidented” – Hubbard Street Studios, Chicago, Illinois.
South Shore Arts – Juried Annual Art Exhibition, Munster, IN — Prize Winner.

2016
Group Shows
“Dynamic”, Studio Channel Islands, Camarillo, CA.
Art Fairs
Boca Contemporary Art Fair, Boca Raton, FL.

2015
Solo Shows
“Molecules of Drawing”, Echt Gallery, Chicago, Illinois.

2005 – 2009
Solo Shows
2005 – Tadu, Santa Fe, New Mexico.
2007 – Gallery Sklo, Atlanta, Georgia.
2007 – Jalu Gallery, Sayulita, Mexico.
Group Shows
2006 – Tadu, Santa Fe, New Mexico.
2007 – Tadu, Santa Fe, New Mexico.
2008 – Salon Mar Graff, Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Europe 1994 – 2004
Solo Shows
Le Variétés, Sommières, France.
L’Entrepôt, Uzès, France.
Cork Street Gallery, Cork Street, London.
Group Shows
The Harrodian, London.
Red Box Association, Provence, France.

Work held in private collections
UK – London, Wimbourne and the Bundes Bank.
France – Paris, Nîmes, Montpellier.
Germany – Landau.
USA – Scottsdale, AZ; Denver, CO; Atlanta, GA; Santa Fe, NM; NYC, New York; Los Angeles, CA; Chicago, Illinois.