Yvonne Jacquette was born in 1934 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and grew up in Stamford, Connecticut. She is a painter and printmaker known for her depictions of cityscapes from different angles, especially from aerial views. She often expresses the nightlife of New York City in a pointillism style. She attended the Rhode Island School of Design from 1952 to 1955. After graduating, she moved to New York City where she continues to live and work. She taught at Moore College of Art (1972-1976), Parsons School of Design (1975-1978), and the University of Pennsylvania (1979-1984). Jacquette was married to Rudy Burckhardt, a photographer and filmmaker, until his death in 1999.
A flight to San Diego in 1969 defined Jacquette’s style of painting aerial views. In an interview with art critic John Yau in The Brooklyn Rail, she explained: “It happened by accident, of course. I didn’t ever plan it. I was going to visit my parents who had just moved to California and I was in a plane with watercolors and I started to see that the clouds were amazing when you’re right in them.” Pursuing her newfound passion, Jacquette began taking commercial flights that circled the city while she sketched the landscape below. Her portfolio of aerial scenes includes the cities of San Francisco, New Orleans, Chicago, Minneapolis, Philadelphia, Vancouver, and Tokyo. From 1974 to early 2001, she also used empty offices or decks at the World Trade Center for subject matter. Her recent work has become more abstract; she has drawn inspiration from photographs that she took of shopping malls and parking lots in rural areas while flying over them in a helicopter at night. John Yau has written of Jacquette, “Never an expressionist, and always basing her work on the observation of her immediate surroundings, her art nevertheless achieves states of complex feeling and profound insight.”
Yvonne Jacquette had her first group show in New York City in 1962 and her first solo show at Swarthmore College in 1965. Her first major museum exhibition was at the St. Louis Art Museum in 1983. A 2002 retrospective titled Aerial Muse: The Art of Yvonne Jacquette was held at the Cantor Center for Visual Arts, Stanford University, CA, and traveled to Colby College Museum of Art, Waterville, ME; Utah Museum of Fine Arts, Salt Lake City; and the Hudson River Museum, Yonkers, NY. In 2003, Jacquette was inducted into the American Academy of Arts & Letters. Under New York Skies: Nocturnes by Yvonne Jacquette was shown by the Museum of the City of New York in 2008. Her work is held in the collections of more than 40 museums, including the Brooklyn Museum, NY; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C.; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Philadelphia Museum of Art, PA; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. Yvonne Jacquette is represented by DC Moore Gallery, New York.