Jackie Gendel (b. 1973, Houston, TX) paints colorful, narrative compositions that blur the distinction between figuration and abstraction in their rendering of human figures. Embracing a fluid approach to her work, Gendel has commented how she develops “scenes, characters and situations through deliberate figuration, intuitive mark making, color and chance procedures,” often painting over works, or creating the same image in different colors and sizes to subvert the singular image. This procedural evolution mirrors the evolving identities of the characters she paints, allowing the narrative to theatrically unfold and resolve. Her work is informed by a range of artists, from Rubens to Laurencin, "late styles" (of Kirchner, Picabia, and 19th c. French painting), as well as minor fictions, the mise en scène of 1930s film, and the tart, wry, political girl groups of post-punk.
Gendel received a BA from Washington University in St. Louis (St. Louis, MO) and an MFA from Yale University (New Haven, CT). She has been the subject of numerous solo and group exhibitions, both nationally and internationally, and her work has been featured in publications such as Artforum, The New York Times, The New Yorker, Art in America, Hyperallergic, Modern Painter, and Art Papers. The American Academy of Arts and Letters awarded Gendel an Academy Award in 2007. She is currently an Associate Professor of Painting at the Rhode Island School of Design.
Gendel lives and works in Providence, Rhode Island.