Jeff Litchfield is a visual artist living in El Paso TX.
Having grown up in New Mexico and West Texas, Litchfield was inundated by the austerity and visual intensity of the desert. As a young man, he wanted nothing to do with it, thinking nobody in their right mind could glean anything meaningful and life-enhancing from such a desolate and impoverished environment. Now, after traveling through Europe, and eye-witnessing the cultural and intellectual revolutions of the 80’s and 90’s New York artworld, he has realized the truly fertile ground of his native desert environment. He has come full circle.
In the early 80’s, Litchfield studied painting with Robert Yarber, and was influenced by Peter Saul at the University of Texas at Austin. Upon graduating in 1984, Litchfield sold some paintings, and his truck and moved to Rome, Italy to travel and paint for a year. With Rome as his base he explored 3000 years of ancient Etruscan and Roman ruins, toured the Vatican at least a dozen times, and took day-trips to Florence and surrounding Tuscan villages. He hung out with American architects and the girls from the French Academy in Rome (French Prix de Rome scholars at the Villa dei Medici where Galileo was under house arrest), and basically lived la Dolce Vita and Grand Tour on a budget for a whole year.
Litchfield returned to New York to pursue his painting career, living in Williamsburg, Brooklyn (before it was chic and expensive) for nearly 17 years. He has shown in group shows in many New York galleries including White Columns, Greenberg Wilson Gallery, Paula Cooper Gallery, 303 Gallery, and PS122 and was a studio assistant for sculptor John Newman. Litchfield was included in the seminal show of 1991 – The New Era Space, curated by Collins & Milazzo, and Robert Gober – a show that introduced many artists such as Tony Feher, Robert Beck, Litchfield, and many others.
Jeff has worked in several top galleries, museums, and art services companies in New York, and has noted “the best way to really know and understand art history is to hold it in your hands and look at it”. He installed several shows at the Barbara Gladstone Gallery, notably Richard Prince’s Hood Series, and Matthew Barney’s first shows, as well as numerous Paula Cooper Gallery exhibitions. He has also worked at The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, the Chase Manhattan Bank Art Program, the Mark Rothko Estate, Crozier’s Fine Art Services, and the Robert Miller Gallery. Litchfield later did his part in the dot-com boom… as the Head of Production (managing both Art Departments, and Programming Departments) at a major dot-com creating websites for Fortune 500 companies such as Cherry Coke, MTV, Clairol, and The Bank of New York, until the industry collapsed in 2001. At that point, he decided that it was a good time to double-down on his art career. Litchfield has exhibited his art in major galleries in New York, Amsterdam, Buenos Aires, Austin, San Antonio, Houston, Dallas and El Paso.
Following the economic turmoil in New York post “9-11”, Litchfield returned to El Paso, Texas (on the US-Mexico border), where he grew up, and proceeded to make a creative life out on the edge of America. He co-founded a large (10,000 sf.) non-profit arts space FORUM Arts & Culture in a former fire-station in El Paso, and curated many of it’s first season of shows.
Litchfield is the publisher of the online arts salon for the Southwest: BorderMASSIVE.com and is currently laying the groundwork for the related non-profit gallery – The Border MASSIVE. He has recently curated the new El Paso City Hall, and writes occasionally for the El Paso Times, and paints full time in his El Paso studio.