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Irene Rice Pereira (1901–1971) was an abstract artist whose work reflected an interest in light, space and mysticism. She began her studies at the Art Students League from 1927-30 and then traveled to Acadamie Moderne, Paris for her last year of schooling. Becoming bored with the traditional academicism at the Acadamie, Pereira left for the Sahara Desert. There she encountered her first “vision of eternity”, which she attempted to incorporate throughout her artistic career.

Pereira moved back to New York City in 1932 and painted canvases based on the relationship between man and machine. Her first show was the following year at the ACA Gallery. Pereira experimented with nontraditional materials frequently and by the late ’30d she was painting on plastics and glass, adding marble dust to her pigments. During the thirties, she taught at the WPA’s Design library, bestowing many students with the influence of the Bauhaus School. In the 1940s, created multimedia paintings, superimposing layers of glass to explore the effects of resonating light.

By 1947, Pereira had mostly finished her pioneering experiments with coruscated and layered glass and had moved onto more complex oil canvases. The best examples of this later style are Green Mass at The National Gallery of Art and Mecca at the National Museum of American Art.

- biography courtesy of Djelloul Marbrook and The Caldwell Gallery, Manilus, NY

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