Jeff Carpenter was born in 1953 in Greenville, Delaware and grew up in the landscape that Andrew Wyeth was painting. Carpenter returned there after high school to study with Tom Bostelle, a painter nearly the opposite of Wyeth, and then went to the Rhode Island School of Design, where he earned a BFA Film, in 1976. His thesis project, a short animated film funded by a grant from the American Film Institute, played the Cannes, Berlin and New York film festivals.
In 1985, he started making art full-time. He showed in New York from 1988 to 1993 and then moved to London for three years. He exhibited there, in Düsseldorf and in Berlin over the next eight years. In 2007, he organized the multi-media exhibition “Experiencing the War in Iraq” in Rhode Island.
Elements of filmmaking can be seen in Carpenter’s paintings, especially transparency or double exposure, and (implied) narrative. Often, in the larger pieces, faint traces of text can be seen appearing through the image. He has worked with lenticular printmaking, where motion is captured with multiple images in prisms. His paintings have been equally influenced by Bostelle and Wyeth, the two poles of his early years.
Carpenter has received support from the New York Foundation for the Arts, the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts, and the Rhode Island Foundation, to mention a few. His work has been shown at P.S.1, the Boston Museum of Fine Arts and the Centre Pompidou.