“When Jay DeFeo died in 1989, at age sixty, she was at the height of her creative powers. Alternately categorized as an abstract expressionist, a Beat painter, a Funk artist, an eccentric, and a romantic, DeFeo was a star of the small avant-garde art and poetry world of San Francisco during the fifties that included Allen Ginsberg, Bruce Conner, Michael McClure, and Wallace Berman.
Beyond the West Coast, however, her work was virtually unknown. The Berkeley Art Museum's 1990 exhibition Jay DeFeo: Works on Paper, which traveled to institutions in the West and Midwest, reintroduced the artist to the art world. DeFeo's reputation has grown in the past two years with the inclusion of her works in a variety of prestigious group exhibitions; the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York made DeFeo's famed painting The Rose a focal point of the exhibition Beat Culture and the New America: 1950-1965.”