Jennifer Wynne Reeves (b. 1963, d. 2014)was known for creating a body of paintings, drawings and photographs that speak to and confront formalist and humanist dilemmas. Beyond her achievements in the art world, Reeves enjoyed a considerable fan-base as a result of her astonishing Facebook presence where she chronicled and interwove her art and diaristic prose.

Reeves solo exhibitions included Art & Public in Geneva, Gian Enzo Sperone in Rome; Max Protetch, Galeria Ramis Barquet and BravinLee programs, NYC. Reeves was also celebrated for her writing. She produced a graphic novel, The Anyway Ember and Soul Bolt, a book of images and prose. “Profoundly rewarding works” said LA Times writer, David Pagel, in a review her 2015 exhibition at CB1 Gallery. Reeves is a John Simon Guggenheim Fellow recipient.


HM&C Study Room: an in-depth look at Jennifer Wynne Reeves


(b. June 10, 1963, Royal Oak, Michigan - d. June 22, 2014, Newburgh, NY)

“I’m interested in inspiration and how to live an inspired life.”


       Best known for her spirited paintings and profound musings on life’s inner workings, Jennifer Wynne Reeves lived to paint, excite, and inspire. Born in Royal Oak, Michigan in 1963, Reeves was raised by her paternal grandmother. From a young age, the artist lived a life of exploration and wonder and participated in a number of extracurricular activities ranging from ballet to piano, violin to swimming, and golf and tennis lessons. Reeves later thrived in her school’s musical theater programs, became a talented opera singer, and enrolled at Principia College in Elsah, Illinois to study music, only to realize her true passion lay in the visual arts.


            That shift marked the beginning of Jennifer Wynne Reeves’ life as an artist. From there, she honed and fostered a keen intuition that led her to test the limits of abstraction and figuration. Her work unearthed emotions once buried by her complicated family life and challenged conventions of the capital-A “Art World,” revealing an artistic process that proved to be both haunting and invigorating. In 2009, Reeves transformed her personal Facebook page to serve as a virtual salon, where she paired her paintings, photographs, and works on paper with her original writing. Offering declarations, observations, and reflections on the everyday and the extraordinary, Reeves garnered a loyal following and cemented herself as a beacon of authenticity, brilliance, and imagination. After surviving cervical cancer in 2005, Jennifer Wynne Reeves was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer and continued creating, loving, and daring until her passing on June 22, 2014.


Jennifer Wynne Reeves’ work has been featured in solo and group shows across the United States and abroad. Selected solo exhibitions include those at The Drawing Center, BravinLee programs, both New York, NY; CB1 Gallery, Los Angeles, CA; Miller Block, Boston, MA; Worcester Art Museum, MA; David Klein Gallery, Birmingham, MI; Galeria Ramis Barquet, New York, NY and Monterrey, Mexico; Galeria Joan Prats, Barcelona, Spain; Art & Public, Geneva, Switzerland; and Gian Enzo Sperone, Rome, Italy.


Her work has also been shown at Dorsky Gallery, Long Island City, NY; Lesley Heller Gallery, Caren Golden Gallery, Danese Gallery, Brent Sikkema Gallery, Max Protetch Gallery, Stefan Stux Gallery, Derek Eller Gallery, all New York, NY; Callicoon Fine Arts, Callicoon, NY; New Britain Museum of Art, CT; Ella Sharp Museum, Jackson, MI; The Alfred Berkowitz Gallery, University of Michigan-Dearborn; Shearburn Gallery, St. Louis, MO; Donna Beam Gallery, University of Nevada, Las Vegas; Tottori Prefectural Museum, Japan; and AR Contemporary, Marella Arte Contemporanea, and Galleria Cardi, all Milan, Italy.


Reeves’ art can be found in numerous private and public collections including the Seattle Art Museum, Detroit Institute of Arts, Grand Rapids Art Museum, Worcester Art Museum, Portland Museum of Art, Montclair Museum of Art, The Columbus Museum, Bowdoin College Museum of Art, Colby College Museum of Art, Principia College, Catskill Art Society, Tang Teaching Museum at Skidmore College, University at Albany Art Museum, and the University of Michigan Museum of Art. Reeves hosted lectures at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Pratt Institute, Montclair University, Cranbrook Academy of Art, San Francisco Art Institute, the 2002 College Art Association Annual Conference in Philadelphia, Worcester Art Museum, University at Albany, and University of Michigan-Dearborn.


Reeves earned her Bachelor of Arts at Principia College and studied at the Vermont Studio School. She was awarded the John Simon Memorial Guggenheim Fellowship, the Adolph and Esther Gottlieb Emergency Grant, and the Artist’s Fellowship Grant. She published The Anyway Ember, a graphic novel, in 2008 and Soul Bolt, a book of prose and photography, in 2012. The 2018 book, Jennifer W. Reeves on Facebook: insightful on a blank page scratch by scratch, brings together a selection of her Facebook posts from March 31, 2010 to May 9, 2014, six weeks before her passing at the age of fifty-one.