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Scrapworks: Art by Gary Jenkins

A work made from cardboard adhered to a canvasScrapworks #2, cardboard on canvas

Artist Gary Jenkins creates paintings and mixed-media assemblages – or, “Scrapworks” – drawing from an appreciation for pure formal abstraction. Gary’s works in all media showcase a genuine appreciation for a wide range of artforms, and have an experimental, often playful tone.

An artwork made from cardboard attached to a canvasScrapworks #7, cardboard, burlap, acrylic paint on canvas


I’m enjoying looking through Gary’s gallery of 2017 Scrapworks. These pieces are often quite similar in terms of style and composition to his painted works, but express more subdued color palettes, often allowing the look and feel of the raw materials involved to shine through. Some of these works remind me of the paintings of Robert Ryman, both in the use of inexpensive, “low-brow” substrates like cardboard, and in the layering of different strokes of similarly colored paint.

A screen capture of Gary Jenkins' art websiteThe front page of Gary's art website


Despite the simple materials and the abstracted, experimental look, each of these works also exhibits a learned sense of illustrative composition and use of negative space. Brush marks and individual forms overlap only when it makes visual sense, and patches of raw wood, paper, or cardboard appear strategic rather than random.

A canvas covered in burlap and various found itemsScrapworks #9, cardboard, paper, string, acrylic paint, fabric on canvas

About the author

Dallas Jeffs Art Writer

Dallas Jeffs is the Editor of Artist Run Website's blog. They hold a degree in Critical and Cultural Practices from Emily Carr University of Art and Design, as well as a certificate in Technical Writing from BCIT. Dallas has a passion for speaking and writing about art, and sharing that interest with others. In their studio practice they are an illustrator and budding tattoo artist, but they consider themselves a writer foremost. If you like art, books and culture with a science fiction twist, check out Dallas' personal blog, HappySpaceNoises or their art on Instagram.

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