June Kelly Gallery

Sarah Plimpton Bio

The June Kelly Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of new paintings by Sarah Plimpton, titled Alphabet +, reflective of her resolute interest in the intrigue of the alphabet letter itself.  The exhibition will open on April 20 and remain on view through June 20.

Plimpton, who is both accomplished poet and painter, writes, I have always loved early pre-historic art.  The first lines and circles made by humans have an incredible force.  I wanted to make lines or signs that had the same force.  Those first lines and circles were eventually arranged for meaning - the alphabet.  In my paintings I often used letters or invented letters. During Covid I could not get to my studio.  I had always dreamed of either painting or drawing every letter of the alphabet.  Covid gave me a chance to do that.  I took up the pencil and drew the alphabet.  Every letter.  Once the quarantine was over, I returned to the studio and painted each one.  Shadows and light for every letter, shadows and light for other paintings.

In this body of work, Plimpton, ever enthralled with letters of the alphabet as “capacity for ‘magic,’” illustrates in oil on Yupo Paper, shadows and light effecting the independent landscape of each letter, (Alphabet A, 2022).  Plimpton experiences her strokes as zen …calmness channeled by intuitiveness when forming the letters.  With vast spatial ambiguity, limited palette, she craftily anchors each letter straightforwardly in bold presentation in the picture plane.

Plimpton’s oil on linen paintings evidence her genius with improvisation …distinct freehand mark making of invented alphabet letters appearing as spur-of-the-moment interconnectedness within hazy abstractions of landscapes.  It is the letters themselves in Plimpton’s alphabet paintings that practically quiver and dance as communicant of illusions of infinite depth.

“I’m illustrating letters,” says Plimpton, alphabet or invented…making them come alive in a different way,” (Altogether Now, 2021).

Plimpton will also show a handmade book that she created with her illustrations of letters of the alphabet along with text.

Plimpton is a native of New York City.  She received a bachelor’s degree from Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts, and attended Harvard Medical School before moving to Paris, where she lived for 19 years.  She also studied at Pratt Graphics Center in New York. Her work has been shown in exhibitions in New York, Paris, and Zurich.  She is represented in many important public and private collections, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Whitney Museum of American Art, Heckscher Museum, Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers University, Columbia University Rare Books and Manuscript Library, The Harris Collection at Brown University, New York Public Library, and the Library of Congress.


Born in New York City
Lived in Paris, 1962-1981
Lives and works in New York City

1982-85 Graphics, Pratt Institute, New York
1958-61 Harvard Medical School, Cambridge, MA
1958 BA, Smith College, Northampton, MA

Solo Exhibitions
2019 Sarah Plimpton: New Paintings, June Kelly Gallery, New York
2016 Black Light: New Work, June Kelly Gallery, New York
2013 New Works: Paintings, June Kelly Gallery, New York
2010 New Work: Paintings, June Kelly Gallery, New York
Sarah Plimpton: Prints and Artist’s Books, Turtle Point Press, The Woolworth Building,
  New York
2009 Sarah Plimpton: Paintings, Artist Books, Works on Paper, Art Forum Ute Barth, Zurich,
2007 New Works, Ober Gallery, Kent, CT
2006 Over the Edge: Recent Paintings, June Kelly Gallery, New York; catalogue
2005 Recent Works – Neue Arbeiten, Art Forum Ute Barth, Zurich, Switzerland
Paintings, Simon Gallery, Morristown, NJ
2004 Sarah Plimpton: Aquatints, Manhattan Graphics Center, New York
2003 Monthly Featured Artist, The Center for Book Arts, New York
New Paintings, June Kelly Gallery, New York
2002 Gemälde, Grafiken und Buchkunst, Art Forum Ute Barth, Zurich, Switzerland
2001 Sarah Plimpton: Paintings, Prints and Books, The Century Association, New York
1999 New Paintings, June Kelly Gallery, New York; catalogue
Sarah Plimpton, Art Forum Ute Barth, Zurich, Switzerland
1997 New Work, essay by Frederick Seidel, June Kelly Gallery, New York
1996 gouaches-gravures, Galerie Lucette Herzog, Paris, France
1994 New Paintings, June Kelly Gallery, New York
Oils and Gouaches, New York Academy of Sciences
1992 Poems and Etchings, Books & Co., New York

Group Exhibitions
2018 Dessin 33 artistes, Bruno Mory Gallery, Besanceuil, France
1st Print Biennale, India, National Academy of Art, New Delhi
2017 Celebrating 30 Years, Gallery Artists: Drawings and Photographs, June Kelly Gallery, New
333 Boxer
2013 New York - New Delhi Works on Paper: Ganz, Plimton, Sabharwai, Kumar Shridharani
   Gallery, New Delhi, India
2012 Multiple Encounters Second Edition, Indo-US Print Exhibition,
  Lalit Kala Adademi Galleries, juried show, New Delhi, India
2011 1st National Exhibition of Intaglio Prints, Roberta Waddell, juror,
  The New York Society of Etchers
Multiple, Limited Unique: Selections from the Permanent Collection of the Center For Book
, The Center for Book Arts, New York
2010 The Grenfill Press Thirty Years of Colloration, Knoedler Project Space, New York
Teacup Show, Rose Burlingham and Turtle Point Press, New York
New Prints 2010/Autumn, juried show, International Print Center, New York
2009 Etching and Monotype, The New York Society of Etchers, curated by Samantha Rippner of the
  Metropolitan Museum of Art, The National Arts Club, New York; will travel to the
  Pyramida Center for Contemporary Arts, Haifa, Israel
2006 American Impressions, American Printmaking, juried by Marilyn Kushner, William
Paterson University, NJ
2005 New York/Paris DIALOGUE Paris/New York, curated by Maddy Rosenberg, The Center for
  Book Arts, Abrons Art Center, Henry Street Settlement, New York,
  Long Island University, Brooklyn Campus, Humanities Building Gallery, Cite
  Internationale des Arts, Atelier Lacouriere-Frelaut, Parsons Paris School of
  Art and Design, France
10 Artists: Defining Abstraction, organized by the June Kelly Gallery, Pfizer inc., New York
New Prints/Summer: Etchings, juried show, International Print Center, New York
2004 Multiple Encounters, Indo-US Prints, Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts,  New
   Delhi, India
Artist Members Show, juried by Mindell Dubansky and Milan Hughston, The Center For
   Book Arts, New York
2003 Artist Members Show, juried by Roberta Waddell and May Castleberry, The Center for
 Book Arts, New York
2002 Contemporary Printmaking, curated by Diane Miller, St. Johns University, New York
Juried Artist Members Show, The Center for Book Arts, New York
American Days Festival, Manhattan Graphics Center, Galeria Biur Wystaw
  Artystycznych, Sandomierz, Poland, Erlin Gallery, Budapest, Hungary, and
  Majsternia Gallery, Kiev, Ukraine
2001 Five Printmakers, Galerie Beckel Odille Boikos, Paris, France
The Hudson River Project, organized by Manhattan Graphics Center, Hudson River
  Gallery, Dobbs Ferry, New York
Print Celebration, Galerie Delta, Paris, France
Selected Works from the Manhattan Graphics Center, Russell-Cotes Museum,
   Bournemouth, England; Galeria Slad, Elk, Poland; Erlin Gallery, Budapest, Hungary,
   and Majsternia Gallery, Kiev, Ukraine
Juried Artist Members Show, The Center for Book Arts, New York
2000 Six Women Artists, Kate Ganz Gallery, New York
1999 Conversations: Printmaking and the Artist’s Book, curated by Ann de Vere, Abrons Art
   Center, Henry Street Settlement, New York
Into Print! Printmaking and Processes, Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum, Rutgers
  University, New Brunswick, NJ
1998 Out of the Center, Artists’ Books from The Center for Book Arts, Charles E. Shain
   Library, Connecticut College, New London, CT
Annual Artists Members Exhibition of Contemporary Bookworks, The Center for Book Arts,
   New York; juried show
Selected Works from Manhattan Graphics Center, Atelier Aubergine, Sherbrooke, Quebec,
1997 The Imaginary City, Manhattan Graphics Center, New York; juried by David Kiehl,
  curator of prints, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York
New Horizons, Selected Printmakers From Manhattan Graphics Center, The Royal Society of
   Painters-Printmakers, Bankside Gallery, London; Keele University Art
   Gallery, Straffordshire, England; Konstform 2, Norrkoping, Sweden
Today’s Printmaker: Artist and Wordsmith, Hillwood Art Museum, Long Island
University/CW Post Campus, Brookville, NY

Public Collections
Heckscher Museum of Art, Huntington, New York
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York
Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ
The Harris Collection, Brown University, Providence, RI
Prints and Photographs, Library of Congress, Washington, DC
Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University, New York
The Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University, New Haven, CT
New York Public Library
Bibliothèque Jacques Doucet, Paris, France
Special Collections Boston University Library, Providence, RI
Special Collections, Temple University Library, Philadelphia, PA
Special Collections, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
Special Collections, University of Western Michigan, Kalamazoo, MI
Special Collections, Smith College, Northampton, MA
Special Collections, Swarthmore College, PA

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