Home News US painter Shirley Jaffe, 93, dies in Paris

US painter Shirley Jaffe, 93, dies in Paris

Published on September 29, 2016

US artist Shirley Jaffe, an influential painter in contemporary abstract art, died on Thursday aged 93, after spending most of her life living and working in France, the gallery that represented her announced.

Born in 1923 in New Jersey, Jaffe moved to Paris in 1949 after studying fine art in New York and Washington.

A close friend of fellow Americans Sam Francis and James Bishop, both painters, the adopted daughter of Paris was represented for several decades by the prestigious art gallery Jean Fournier.

Jaffe first came to be known in the art scene for her abstract expressionist work. She broke away from this style in the early 1960s, adopting instead a colourful, geometric style.

“Considered one of the most influential painters in contemporary abstract art, she caught the attention of artists from younger generations, such as Jessica Stockholder and Bernard Piffaretti,” the Nathalie Obadia gallery, which had represented her since 1999, said in a statement.

At the turn of the century Jaffe designed stained glass windows for the chapel of Perpignan in southern France.

Her work has been shown at the Museum of Modern Art in New York (MoMA), the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Centre Pompidou in Paris.

During their 2009 visit to Paris, the US first family visited the six-storey Pompidou museum and were “extremely interesting in everything” — including Jaffe’s work.