J. L. Abraham, Working Paper


Visual Resources Curator

E-mail Bianca


artwork from artist

A spectacle and nothing strange, 2019. Watercolor on Fabriano paper, 30 x 22 in. The Barbara Walters Gallery at Sarah Lawrence College

January 27, 2020 – May 15, 2020

J.L. Abraham works by hand (printing and painting), works on paper (French sheets, Japanese rolls, machine made in America), and works through aggregation (of blocks, colors, methods, sheets). Though she often multiplies, she rarely duplicates.

Language and color are her subjects. In her mind’s eye, Minimalism meets “Pattern and Decoration,” Gertrude Stein meets the Albers (Anni and Josef).

As a printmaker, she paints through printing. As a painter, she threads through printed grids. Printing, she turns text into drawing, language into pattern. In her painting, shades make statements of their own.

The geometries that result are rarely read as letters (even when they once were)—more often as evocations of the flat space of architectural plans, the bulk of the built environment, or the technological mazes in which we live.

Born and educated in Adelaide, Australia, J.L. Abraham moved to New York City to study literature at Columbia University and stayed. She has published book reviews, essays, and two books—Are Girls Necessary: Lesbian Writing and Modern Histories (1996) and Metropolitan Lovers: The Homosexuality of Cities (2008)—and teaches LGBT Studies at Sarah Lawrence College.

She studied printmaking and painting at The Art Students League of New York. Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally. She is a member of the Society of American Graphic Artists and the Boston Printmakers, and is represented by The Old Print Shop (NYC).