Born in 1903 in Guatemala City, Alfred Jensen studied fine art in San Diego (1924–1925), Munich (1926–1927), and Paris (1929). After traveling extensively throughout Europe and northern Africa, Jensen took up residency in New York in the early 1950s, after which he devoted himself to painting full time. He exhibited widely following his first solo show at John Heller Gallery in New York in 1952. Among numerous group exhibitions, he was included in the Venice Biennial (1964), Documenta IV (1968) and Documenta V (1972), the Whitney Biennial (1973, 1977), the São Paulo Biennial (1977), and “Bilderstreit” (1989). One-person exhibitions included venues such as the Guggenheim Museum, New York (1961), Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (1964), Kunsthalle Basel (1975), and the Newark Art Museum (1994). Traveling retrospective tours were organized in 1973 by the Kestner-Gesellschaft, Hannover (traveled to Humlebaek, Baden-Baden, Düsseldorf, and Bern), and in 1978 by the Albright-Knox Gallery, Buffalo (traveled to New York, Chicago, La Jolla, Boulder, and San Francisco). Four years after Jensen’s death in 1981, the Guggenheim Museum initiated a major retrospective of his work.