After the untimely death of his mother, the American painter Alfred Jensen spent his youth in Denmark, where he showed interest in drawing at an early age. After finishing school, Alfred Jenson earned his living as a sailor for several years. Having stayed in California and Guatemala, Alfred Jensen settled in San Diego in 1924.
A scholarship enabled him to study at the San Diego Fine Arts School under Eugene De Vol from 1924 to 1925. In 1926 Jensen went to Munich, where he studied under Hans Hofmann until 1928. From 1929 to 1937 Jensen stayed in Paris to study and traveled through North Africa and the major European cities before settling in New York.
According to his own admission, his encounter with Andre Masson in Lyon-la-Foret in 1938 left a lasting impression on Alfred Jensen. After his gestural and expressionist beginnings, in 1957 Jensen turned to a geometrical and abstract style of painting in pure colors of the spectrum, based on intensive studies of Goethe's Theory of Colors and the writings of Leonardo da Vinci.
Alfred Jensen was also interested in the study of number systems and theories, particularly the Maya calendar and its relationship to the plant systems, and Michael Faraday's theories, both of which he dealt with in his paintings.
During this time, Jensen also travelled to Guatemala, Mexico, Brasil and Peru. In 1972 he moved from New York, where he was teaching at Columbia University, to Glen Ridge, New Jersey. Since the 1950s Jensen's prolific work has been shown at international exhibitions. His participation at "documenta V" as well as the traveling exhibition of "Kestner-Gesellschaft" Hanover in 1973 brought his work to the attention of the German public.
Alfred Jensen died in New Jersey in 1981.