Alabama Hills No. 5

Jay DeFeo, American, 1929 - 1989



Oil on linen

Overall: 18 1/2 × 24 1/2 in. (47 × 62.2 cm)

Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth: Purchased through the Miriam H. and S. Sidney Stoneman Acquisition Fund



Place Made: United States, North America


20th century

Object Name


Research Area


Not on view


Only by chancing the ridiculous, can I hope for the sublime. --Jay DeFeo

The Alabama Hills, located on the eastern side of the Sierra Nevada mountains in California, feature rounded vertical outcroppings of eroded stone. The area has an otherworldly look—something we might imagine for a distant planet. DeFeo, based in San Francisco, visited the area for inspiration. Rather than painting naturalistic images of the stone formations, she shared her sense of awe for the environment by abstracting the rocks’ shapes.

From the 2023 exhibition The Painter's Hand: U.S. Abstraction since 1950, curated by John Stomberg, Virginia Rice Kelsey 1961s Director

Course History

Studio Art 25.01, Painting I, Daniele Genadry, Summer 2023

Philosophy 1.11, Art: True, Beautiful, Nasty, John Kulvicki, Summer 2023

Philosophy 1.11, Art: True, Beautiful, Nasty, John Kulvicki, Summer 2023

First Year Student Enrichment Program - Cultures, Identities and Belongings, Francine A'Ness, Summer 2023

Studio Art 15.04, Drawing I, Enrico Riley, Fall 2023

Studio Art 17.08, Digital Drawing, Karol Kawiaka, Fall 2023

Studio Art 25.01, Painting I, Jen Caine, Fall 2023

Writing 5.05, Image and Text, Becky Clark, Fall 2023

Writing 5.06, Image and Text, Becky Clark, Fall 2023

Exhibition History

“In Memoriam: Jay DeFeo: A Selection of Paintings, 1986-1989,” Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley, California, November 9-26, 1989.

The Painter's Hand: U.S. Abstraction since 1950, William B. Jaffe and Evelyn A. Jaffe-Hall Galleries, Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, June 3-December 16, 2023.

Publication History

Gottschaller, Pia and Joy Mazurek. "Jay DeFeo's Dialectis of Painting." Getty Research Journal, No. 18 (2023): 128.


Jay DeFeo Foundation, Berkeley, California; sold to present collection, 2022.

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