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Ida Rittenberg Kohlmeyer (Louisiana/Georgia, 1912-1997), "Portent," abstract oil on panel painting rendered in earth tones with expressionist vertical brushstrokes to the center in darker tones. Signed lower right KOHLMEYER. Handwritten label en verso reads' "From Juried Arts Collection, transfer from Tyler Museum of Art from TFAA, Portent by Ida Kohlmeyer". Additional gallery label en verso from Peyton Wright Gallery in Sante Fe, New Mexico. Housed in a silvered wood frame. Sight: 41 3/4" H x 35 3/4" W. Framed: 42 1/2" H x 36 1/2" W.
Biographical Note: Ida Kohlmeyer was born in New Orleans, LA, in 1912. She graduated from Isadore Newman Manual Training School and entered Sophie B. Newcomb College of Tulane University to study English literature. She began her art studies at John McCrady's Art School in the French Quarter of New Orleans in 1947. Kohlmeyer then pursued her Masters Degree at Tulane with Pat Trivigno.
Her art underwent a profound change during the summer of 1956, when she spent time at Hans Hofmann's Provincetown workshop and became exposed to Abstract Expressionist theories and colors. The next year Mark Rothko came to Newcomb as a visiting artist and set up a studio in the garage at Kohlmeyer's family home. He considered his work there a major breakthrough, and Kohlmeyer's response to his paintings was so intense that her work for the next seven years reflected her reaction as she moved from figurative painting towards her own idiom of Abstract Expressionism.
By the mid 1970's, she developed her distinctive vocabulary of shapes and symbols originally organized in grid format and later in loose-flowing patterns. That style, which she explored for the rest of her life and eventually translated into sculpture, gave expression to her draftsmanship and encouraged her strong sense of color. Kohlmeyer taught at Newcomb College from 1956 until 1965. In 1957, she had her first one-person exhibition at the New Orleans Museum of Art. She also was a faculty member at the University of New Orleans from 1973 until 1975. Her work can be found in the collections of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, New Orleans Museum of Art, National Museum of Women in the Arts, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and Houston Museum of Fine Arts, among many others. Among her many awards was the city of New Orleans pronouncing March 1985 as the official Ida Kohlmeyer Month. (Sources: Columbus Museum, Georgia; The Johnson Collection).
PROVENANCE: Private Southern collection.
CONDITION: Overall very good condition. Black light photos available.