"Devoted to the powerful autonomy and perceptual properties of color; California-based artist Penelope Krebs has spent her artistic career developing an arrestingly radiant body of hard-edged geometric abstractions that place her at the forefront of the second-generation of Color Field painters. [...] Besides its obvious affinities to the works of Albers, Barnett Newman, Ellsworth Kelly, and John McLaughlin, Krebs's painting, particularly in its quieter registers, calls to mind Agnes Martin's ethereal grids in their strongly contemplative aura."
-Sarah S. King
American painter Penelope Krebs is perhaps best known for her hard-edge abstractions, most of which consist of four vertical bands of color. These compositions feature either gradients of the same hue or similar juxtapositions of contrasting hues—each a unique color study.
Born in 1954, Krebs studied art at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where she worked closely with renowned Minimalist artists John McCracken and James Hayward. Taking inspiration from Minimalism as well as Color Field painting, Krebs made her signature vertical band, oil-on-canvas works largely in the 1980s and 1990s, and she was awarded a Pollock Krasner Award in 1989 for these works. Her work has been the subject of numerous solo and featured in group exhibitions including at Yares Art Projects in Santa Fe, NM and Yares Art, New York; Kiyo Hagashi, Los Angeles, CA; Schmidt/Dean Gallery Gallery, Philadelphia, PA; Lukman Fine Arts Gallery, California State University, Los Angeles; Museum of Fine Arts at the Pennsylvania Academy, Philadelphia; and the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA.
In more recent years Krebs has moved away from working exclusively in oil, focusing instead on watercolor, and she brings the precision of her color band period to these works on paper. Today Krebs continues to live and work from her Santa Fe, New Mexico, home and studio.