Hedda Sterne, ‘Road #12’, ca. 1957, Van Doren Waxter

About Hedda Sterne

The epigraph of Hedda Sterne’s New York Times obituary was the “Artist of Many Styles.” Sterne, a prolific painter whose career spanned 65 years, was most closely associated with the Abstract Expressionists though she painted in a variety of styles ranging from Minimalism to Surrealism. She explained that her work oscillated between figuration and abstraction without preferring one style over another: “Sometimes I react to immediate visible reality and sometimes I am prompted by ideas.” Grids and visual repetition were recurring motifs in her works, particularly in those that investigated urban life. She also produced portraits throughout her career of her close colleagues, including Barnett Newman and John Graham. Sterne was also the only female artist associated with the group of 18 Abstract Expressionists known as “the Irascibles.”

Romanian-American, 1910-2011, Bucharest, Romania, based in New York, NY, United States