Jay DeFeo Oral History Interview (full transcript)

Jay DeFeo (1929-1989) was a visual artist and central figure of the Beat Generation in San Francisco. She is best known for “The Rose” (1958-66), a massive, 11-by-8 foot painting layered with over 2,000 pounds of paint that has become an icon of Beat art and late Abstract Expressionism. Walter Hopps, who was director of the Pasadena Art Museum when the work was first exhibited there in 1969, later wrote, “DeFeo has been one of the least seen and least known of the truly brilliant artists of our time, but I’ve come to believe that the strength and inventiveness of her finest art will be seen as rivaling that of the greatest artists of the twentieth century.” This link directs to the Oral History Interview with Jay DeFeo, 1975 June 3-1976 Jan. 23, conducted by Paul J. Karlstrom for the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.