Untitled (Berkeley), 1953
Tempera and acrylic on paper
20 x 20 5/8 inches (50.8 x 52.4 cm) 27 7/8 x 29 3/8 x 2 inches (70.8 x 74.6 x 5.1 cm), framed

Jay DeFeo (1929–1989) received a bachelor’s degree in 1950 and a master’s degree in 1951, both in studio art, from the University of California, Berkeley. Upon graduation, she was awarded a fellowship and traveled from October 1951 to January 1953 in Europe and North Africa, ultimately settling in Florence for six months. There, DeFeo worked intensively on what became her first significant body of work, influenced by Abstract Expressionism, the geometry of Italian architecture, and her ongoing fascination with Asian, African, and prehistoric art. The two works included in this exhibition were made during this formative period, in Florence, and upon her return to Berkeley.