Wednesday 6 June 2012

Irene Rice Pereira

Irene Rice Pereira (August 5, 1902–January 11, 1971) was an American abstract artist, known for her work in the Geometric abstraction, Abstract expressionist, and Lyrical Abstraction genres and her use of the principles of the Bauhaus school.

Pereira was born Irene Rice in 1902 in Chelsea, Massachusetts, a suburb of Boston, the eldest of three sisters and one brother. After her father died in 1918 she and her family moved to Brooklyn, New York. In 1922 she began working as a secretary to help support her family in the wake of her father's death and her mothers illness. In 1927, she enrolled in evening art classes at the Art Students League in New York City. Among her instructors at the Art Students League were Jan Matulka and Richard Lahey. In 1931, she travelled to Europe and North Africa to further her painting studies and she studied with Amédée Ozenfant in Paris. In the mid-1930s she studied with Hans Hofmann, and among her friends and colleagues were Burgoyne Diller (see blog post April 2012), Dorothy Dehner, David Smith, Hilla Rebay, Arshile Gorky, John D. Graham. and Frederick Kiesler. In 1935, Pereira became one of the founders and first instructors at the Design Laboratory, a school modelled on the Bauhaus school.

Irene Rice Pereira's first husband was the commercial artist Umberto Pereira. She later married George Wellington Brown, a naval architect. When this marriage ended in divorce, she married the Irish poet George Reavey in 1950; that marriage, too, ended in divorce. She used the professional name I. Rice Pereira to avoid discrimination against female artists. She died January 11, 1971, in Marbella, Spain.

The Boca Raton Museum of Art, the Brooklyn Museum, the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, the Honolulu Museum of Art, the National Gallery of Art (Washington D.C.), The Phillips Collection, and the University of Iowa Museum of Art are among the public collections holding work by I. Rice Pereira.

1932 Untitled ( Boats at Cape Cod ) 
oil on canvas 40.8 x 50.5 cm

c1934-35 Masts 
oil on canvas 71.1 x 86.4 cm

c1934-35 Pier 
oil on canvas 61 x 76.2 cm

c1934 Table Top Still Life with Champagne Cooler, Horn and Ball 
oil on canvas 101.6 x 76.2 cm 
© Michael Rosenfield Gallery N.Y.

1935-39c Abstract
watercolour, ink and gouache on paper 36.8 x 45.7 cm

1936 Man and Machine 
oil on canvas 92.1 x 122.6 cm

1936 Sketch for Machine Composition #2 
pencil and crayon on paper 44.5 x 57.5 cm

1937 Machine Composition #2 
oil on canvas 122.5 x 152.4 cm

1938 Washington ( aka Surreal City ) 
oil on canvas 76.2 x 91.4 cm 
© Michael Rosenfield Gallery N.Y.

1938-39 Untitled Abstraction
oil and mixed media on fibreboard 43.2 x 53.3 cm

1939 White Rectangles, Number 3
oil on canvas 61 x 76.2 cm
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City

1940 Red Squares
oil on paper 38.1 x 25.4 cm

1940 Three White Squares

1940 White Squares
oil on paper 30.1 x 25.4 cm

1941 White Lines
gouache on paper 56.5 x 39.4 cm
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City

1944 Green Depth
casein on canvas 78.7 x 106.7 cm
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City

1945 Composition
Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art, Auburn University
© Djelloul Marbrook

1946 Receding Red

1946 Transitory Reflection 
oil on glass and panel 63.5 x 43.2 cm 
© Michael Rosenfield Gallery N.Y.

1946 Transversion 
ceramic fluid, porcelain cement on corrugated glass on panel of oil on hardboard 34.3 x 40 cm

1948 Composition 
graphite 33.8 x 36.8cm

1949-53c Vernal equinox
oil on canvas 91.4  127 cm

1950 Bright Depths 
oil on canvas 76.2 x 86.4 cm

1950 Green Mass 
oil on canvas 101.9 x 127.1 cm

1951 Evaporating Night 
oil on canvas 92.07 x 76.83 cm

1951 Light is Gold 
glass, acrylic, lacquer, casein, gold leaf 76.5 x 59 cm

1951 Seven Red Squares
oil on canvas 101.6 x 127 cm

1952 Inside Outside 
oil on canvas 127 x 76.2 cm
1952 Transforming Night 
oil on canvas 101.6 x 76.2 cm

1952 White Marker on magenta coloured paper 45.5 x 63 cm approx.

1953 Mecca 
oil on canvas 101.9 x 126.9 cm

1953 Roselit Day 
oil on canvas 91.3 x 127 cm
1955c Sphere the Ether with your Flaming Heart
oil on canvas 142.2 x 126.7 cm

1960-62c The Effluence of an Infinitude #18
oil on linen 141.6 x 127.1 cm

1962c The Majestic Grandeur of the Immutable Light
oil on linen 127.8 x 142.2 cm

n.d. Transversion of the Fourth
oil on canvas 127 x 101.6 cm

n.d. Heart of Flame 
oil on canvas 142 x 127 cm
n.d. Untitled ( Triangles)
oil on canvas 91.4 x 76.2 cm

n.d. Three Dimensional Abstract Composition 
oil on board and glass 23.5 x 18.4 cm


  1. Glob Glob... Cool stuff...

  2. I love your paintings, how long it take to finish them? I especially love the white marker on magenta, its simple yet so intriguing!


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