acrylic on linen
15 x 15 inches (unframed)
Betsy Kaufman is known for abstract paintings and works on paper, as well as needlepoint sculptures. She has often been compared to the minimalist artist, Agnes Martin. Critics distinguish her work by its subversion of modernist systems, and its insertion of strong emotion, humor, and narrative into geometric abstraction. Kaufman employs simple means—geometric shapes, skewed and parallel lines, semi-transparent, solid or brushy bands and grounds—with finely calibrated differences in brightness and hue to achieve states of density, dissolution, and movement. Writer Ingrid Schaffner observed that Kaufman’s paintings are “inherently based on disruption … She has made the accidents, oppositions, contradictions, and mercurialness, which most organizing impulses work hard to minimize, into the rationale that guides the unpredictable and forceful narrative of her abstractions.”
Kaufman was born in San Francisco in 1957 and raised in the Bay Area. She attended Hampshire College before earning a BFA from Rhode Island School of Design. Her work belongs to the public collections of the Eli Broad Family Foundation, Sheldon Museum of Art, Staatsgalerie Stuttgart, and the West Collection at SEI, among others, as well as to private and corporate collections. The artist lives and works in New York City.