Jane Booth

Taxonomy by Jane Booth

Jane Booth (American, b. 1957)


Acrylic on canvas

67 x 144 in

In the tripartite composition of this color-rich abstract painting, Jane Booth creates what she calls “intuitive gestures” with brush, broom, and hands to pour, push, and propel pigment across a raw canvas. Additionally, she often primes the surface with strokes or pools of water to encourage the paint to flow, spread, stain, and feather. Booth draws inspiration — for color, form, and scale—from the rolling Kansas prairie and vast skies that are visible from her Spring Hill studio. Her mark-making is “conversational,” each stroke or pour a reaction to the previous one. In Taxonomy, this call-and-response process of laying color onto canvas yields at the left a field of turquoise paint with both dry, streaky edges and dark pools of pigment that suggest both ripples in a pond where lotus blossoms float or the starry swirl of a distant galaxy. In the center, a more discrete form of bright red with a wash of fiery orange suggests a strange animal with appendages in motion, mimicking the artist’s own body at work. At the right, Booth outlines in black a circle of raw canvas. Small dots, both protozoan and cometary, seem to leave trails behind, an effect Booth achieves by mixing graphite with the paint.

Taxonomy’s impressive size and vibrant colors envelop the viewer, and each of its three distinct sections suggests something personal yet communal, familiar yet unknowable, microscopic yet writ large. Taxonomy contains the cellular, the organismal, and the universal all at once.


Jane Booth lives and works in Spring Hill, Kansas. She received a BFA in ceramics and French from Kansas State University in 1978, and also has studied painting at the Kansas City Art Institute (1996-1998) and French at the Sorbonne in Paris (1976). Booth has participated in many solo and group exhibitions in the Midwest and California. Her works are in more than 600 private, public, and corporate collections, including the Albrecht-Kemper Museum of Art, the Marianna Kistler Beach Museum of Art at Kansas State University, Emprise Bank in Wichita, and the University of Kansas School of Business.

— Lauren Erickson, doctoral student in art history at the University of Kansas, April 2019

KU School of Business Art Collection