1923, Long Beach, California 2004, San Francisco, California
After his military service during World War II, Burgess Collins abandoned his scientific career due to fears about nuclear proliferation. He broke with his family in 1949, shortened his name to simply Jess, and enrolled in the California School of the Arts (now the San Francisco Art Institute). He quickly became a key member of the 1950s Beat scene, along with his longtime companion, the poet Robert Duncan. Although he worked in various media, he is best known for his "paste-ups." These elaborate collages are composed of clippings from magazines, posters, prints, and illustrated books. The fragments coalesce into a unified whole, addressing science, mysticism, sexuality, history, and popular culture. Stubbornly opposed to making art to meet market demands, Jess spent months, even years, collecting and assembling his materials.
Please note that artwork locations are subject to change, and not all works are on view at all times. If you are planning a visit to SFMOMA to see a specific work of art, we suggest you contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to confirm it will be on view.
Only a portion of SFMOMA's collection is currently online, and the information presented here is subject to revision. Please contact us at email@example.com to verify collection holdings and artwork information. If you are interested in receiving a high resolution image of an artwork for educational, scholarly, or publication purposes, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.