Kathleen Jacobs is an American artist recognized for her lyrical yet minimal canvases that engage both with the natural world and late 20th century minimalism. Her work has been exhibited extensively in galleries in Aspen, New York, Vienna and Brussels.
When Jacobs began painting outdoors—first in the forests of Colorado, and later in the woods of Massachusetts—she decided to use tree bark as the surface on which to begin her lines and marks. Working with raw linen or canvas, Jacobs wraps and re-wraps the material on multiple tree trunks, subjecting the pieces to various gessoes and rubs, and leaves them to absorb the influences of weather patterns and the evolution of the trees themselves. The artist leaves these paintings outdoors for as long as two years to weather and mature, creating a unique surface. In the final phase, she moves the aged paintings back into her Great Barrington studio, painting and reworking the marks begun by her and taken up by her environment. The resulting paintings are complexly textured and abstract.