Meeting Abstract Expressionist Perle Fine

Studies and Influences

Born in 1905, Perle Fine knew from a young age she wanted to be an artist. She studied illustration and graphic design in her hometown of Boston, then moved to New York where she continued her studies in painting at the Art Students League. Later followed by classes with Hans Hoffmann, a German émigré, that promoted the ideas of abstract painting. At the time, art education was predominantly offered to men, but many post-war women artists took classes with him.

At the beginning of the 1940s, she started to receive recognition when her works were included in exhibitions at Peggy Guggenheim’s Art of This Century Gallery and at the Museum of Nonobjective Painting (today the Guggenheim Museum).

Perle Fine was one of the few women that took part in “The Club”, a group of artists founded in 1949 led by Franz Kline and Willem de Kooning. Other members included Mark Rothko, Jackson Pollock, and Lee Krasner.

Although she (and other women of Abstract Expressionism) never received the same recognition and praise as her male counterparts in the past, she continued to have a long prolific career. She explored different materials and created collages and sculptures. Her works are part of important collections around the USA like the MoMA, the Metropolitan Museum, and Whitney Museum in New York, and the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC.

Prescience Series, 1950s

Fine dedicated her whole career to abstraction and throughout the years moved away from any type of reference to objects or nature. In the 1950s, she started to explore color in a more complex way and slowly left gesture painting behind. 

The Prescience Series was created during this time, exploring fine layers of paint, stains, transparency, and the almost meditative effects of color.

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