Jump to content

Virginia Jaramillo: Principle of Equivalence

May 04, 2024 - Jan 05, 2025

About the Exhibition

Virginia Jaramillo: Principle of Equivalence is the first major retrospective and largest monographic exhibition to date of the work of Virginia Jaramillo (b. 1939, El Paso, TX; lives in Hampton Bays, NY). Principle of Equivalence traces the artist’s practice from the mid-1960s through the present, featuring more than 40 abstract paintings and handmade paper works that reveal her long-standing preoccupation with the relationships between the earthly and metaphysical realms.

Taking shape in New York and Los Angeles of the 1960s and 1970s—amid mass political movements and heated debates in the art world around representation and the relevance of painting—Jaramillo’s work has long engaged with the formal and social potential of abstraction. Drawing on a continued study of physics, science fiction, mythologies, and modernist design, Jaramillo’s work reaches for the fundamentals of comprehension: how our experience of the physical forms the basis of ideas, and how abstraction can offer alternate ways of understanding our world. Alongside her iconic Curvilinear series, the exhibition features works made during her decades-long collaboration with the Dieu Donné Papermill in New York, as well as a series of recent works that follow Jaramillo’s return to painting on canvas, furthering her long-standing interests in quantum physics, geography, and time.

Virginia Jaramillo: Principle of Equivalence was originally organized by Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City, Missouri, and curated by Erin Dziedzic, Director of Curatorial Affairs. The MCA’s presentation is organized by René Morales, former James W. Alsdorf Chief Curator, and Iris Colburn, Curatorial Associate.

This exhibition is presented in the Bergman Family Gallery on the museum’s second floor.

Related Content


Object Lesson: How Virginia Jaramillo Made Paper

Watch longtime Virginia Jaramillo collaborators Susan Gosin and Paul Wong of Dieu Donné reflect on the artist’s “ethereal and delicate” paper works.

Video produced by MCA Chicago, 2024.


Making Paper like Virginia Jaramillo with Paul Wong

Watch Paul Wong, Artistic Director Emeritus of Dieu Donné Paper Mill, craft sheets of paper in the style of Virginia Jaramillo.

Video produced by MCA Chicago, 2024.


Lead support is provided by the Harris Family Foundation in memory of Bette and Neison Harris, the Zell Family Foundation, Cari and Michael Sacks, and R. H. Defares.

Major support is provided by the Jacques and Natasha Gelman Foundation and Charlotte R. Cramer Wagner and Herbert S. Wagner III of the Wagner Foundation.

Generous support is provided by Hales Gallery and Pace Gallery.

This exhibition is supported by the MCA’s Women Artists Initiative, a philanthropic commitment to further equity across gender lines and promote the work and ideas of women artists.



Jacques & Natasha Gelman Foundation logo.Wagner Foundation Logo


Major support for Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art’s organization of Virginia Jaramillo: Principle of Equivalence is provided by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. Generous support is provided by the Bebe and Crosby Kemper Foundation for the Arts, UMB Bank, n.a., Trustee, and the R. Crosby Kemper Jr. Exhibition Fund. Lead sponsors include Richard J. Stern Foundation for the Arts, Commerce Bank, Trustee; JoAnn and William Sullivan. Sustaining sponsors include Andrea and David Feinberg; Hebenstreit Family Foundation; Kirk Foundation; Mark One Electric Company, Inc.; The McDonnell Foundation; Matthew Peddie and Jessica Heimes; Todd and Emily Voth, in Memory of Mary O’Dell Swett; Robert and Sally West.