Paul Jenkins was born in Kansas City Missouri, in 1923 and later moved to Youngstown, Ohio.
Drawn to New York, and on the GI Bill, he attended the Art Students League and became a student of Yasuo Kuniyoshi and ultimately became associated with the Abstract Expressionists, inspired in part by the “cataclysmic challenge of Pollock and the total metaphysical consumption of Mark Tobey.” Jenkins was a friend and contemporary of many other notable artists including Jean Dubuffet, Mark Rothko, Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning, all of whom inspired his practice. He also travelled throughout Europe including Sicily, then Spain and later to France, which would become a second home to the artist throughout his life.
‘’The paintings of Paul Jenkins have come to represent the spirit, vitality, and invention of post-World War II American abstraction. Employing an unorthodox approach to paint application, Jenkins is as much identified with the process of controlled paint-pouring and canvas manipulation as with the gem-like veils of transparent and translucent color which have characterized his work since the late 1950s’’. The artist held a lifelong fascination with Eastern religions and philosophy, and the study of the I Ching, along with the writings of Carl Jung prompted his turn toward introspective reflection and mysticism which have dominated his artistic aesthetic as well as his personal life. Paul Jenkins continued to paint up until his death in 2012, at the age of 88.