Perle Fine

American, 1905-1988

Mythical Being Mask   ,  Oil on canvas, 1946, Signed and dated lower left, 24 x 28 inches

Mythical Being Mask, Oil on canvas, 1946, Signed and dated lower left, 24 x 28 inches

Study for Fireworks  , Gouache on board, 1945, 23 x 20 inches

Study for Fireworks, Gouache on board, 1945, 23 x 20 inches

SOLD  Figure Descending a Ladder  , 1960, Oil on canvas, 43 x 48 inches

SOLD Figure Descending a Ladder, 1960, Oil on canvas, 43 x 48 inches

SOLD  #8 Gridiron  , Oil on canvas, Signed and titled verso, 40 x 40 inches

SOLD #8 Gridiron, Oil on canvas, Signed and titled verso, 40 x 40 inches

A determined, talented, and fiercely independent individual, Perle Fine became a major figure of the Abstract Expressionist era. She was one of the first women to be admitted, with de Kooning’s sponsorship, to the 8th Street Club, not a small feat considering the social culture of this era. She was also one of the few women promoted by Hilla Rebay and the Guggenheim Museum, and became a Guggenheim scholar, exhibiting with the likes of Ilya Bolotowsky and Ad Reinhardt. By 1949 she already had an enviable exhibition record, which included solo exhibitions at Willard and Betty Parsons in New York and at San Francisco's de Young Museum

Fine was a long time member of the important American Abstract Artists group (AAA). Her education began in her native Boston before she enrolled at the Art Students League in 1935 and fell under the influence of Piet Mondrian. In 1939, she began working with Hans Hofmann, both in New York and at his summer school in Provincetown, MA. Fine broke with Hofmann's theories and sought to find her own, more calm and contemplative mode of expression. After 1970 she focused her efforts on a series of spare, elegant geometric works called Accordments. On the subject of this series of works, she wrote, “To me, my “Accordments” mean an acceptance, serene, tranquil, with evocations of being in tune with nature and the universe.”

Fine remained active in the arts throughout her life, teaching at Cornell University and Hofstra University. She also remained faithful to her own tenets of the Abstract Expressionist movement, which focused on a rhythmic, harmonious sensibility, that were meant to evoke feeling, through a language of color. She had more than 30 solo exhibitions and countless group showings and is represented in numerous museum and private collections. A museum retrospective and catalog is planned for 2009 at Hofstra University with a traveling exhibition and numerous lectures and workshops.

Her work is represented in many significant private and public collections including: Addison Gallery of American Art, The Brooklyn Museum, Corcoran Gallery in Washington, D. C., The Metropolitan Musem of Art, The National Gallery of Art, Parrish Art Museum, Provincetown Art Association and Museum, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Whitney, the Worcester Art Museum, and many others.

“I find that painting is still a great adventure, perhaps because I believe there is a universality in its ideals that makes it more than merely exciting.”