II
/

Irene Monat Stern: Air of Twilight

10 - 31 October 2018
Untitled (Veils), circa 1968–70, Acrylic on unprimed canvas, 46 1/2 x 68 inches
Untitled (Veils), circa 1968–70, Acrylic on unprimed canvas, 46 1/2 x 68 inches

veils of pigment appear to fold over one another, creating illusory creases and hollows.

Irene Monat Stern’s luminous and elegant paintings evolved out of her early work in watercolor, a progression evident in the almost liquid flow of colors across her large compositions. In these works, tones melt together and “veils of pigment appear to fold over one another, creating illusory creases and hollows.” (1) The overall affect is one of slow, powerful visual rhythms. Stern’s semi-translucent, gossamer colors billow across her surfaces, soaking into the unprimed canvas to create tactile fusions of paint and support that envelope the viewer in diaphanous veils of paint. Stern’s pure abstract forms call to mind the stained canvases of Morris Louis and Helen Frankenthaler, but her work embodies a unique elegance that differentiates it from that of her color field contemporaries. Where Louis harnessed the power of gravity to pull his pigments down the canvas and Frankenthaler very deliberately pushed her paints around, Stern’s colors seem to grow and blossom organically across the composition. These blooms of pure color manage to be simultaneously serene and dramatic as they radiate warm, earthy tones. Born in 1932 in Poland, Stern survived the Holocaust at a young age, eventually setting in Southern California by way of Paris and New York....

Irene Monat Stern’s luminous and elegant paintings evolved out of her early work in watercolor, a progression evident in the almost liquid flow of colors across her large compositions. In these works, tones melt together and “veils of pigment appear to fold over one another, creating illusory creases and hollows.” (1) The overall affect is one of slow, powerful visual rhythms. Stern’s semi-translucent, gossamer colors billow across her surfaces, soaking into the unprimed canvas to create tactile fusions of paint and support that envelope the viewer in diaphanous veils of paint.

Stern’s pure abstract forms call to mind the stained canvases of Morris Louis and Helen Frankenthaler, but her work embodies a unique elegance that differentiates it from that of her color field contemporaries. Where Louis harnessed the power of gravity to pull his pigments down the canvas and Frankenthaler very deliberately pushed her paints around, Stern’s colors seem to grow and blossom organically across the composition. These blooms of pure color manage to be simultaneously serene and dramatic as they radiate warm, earthy tones.

Born in 1932 in Poland, Stern survived the Holocaust at a young age, eventually setting in Southern California by way of Paris and New York. Irene Monat Stern’s work has been exhibited and collected widely, and can currently be found in the collection of the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, D.C.

1. Judith L. Dunham, "Irene Stern Paintings," Artweek. 31 May 1975.

For more information about Irene Monat Stern: Air of Twilight, please contact us at info@hollistaggart.com or 212.628.4000.

Sign up for updates

Receive information on available works by Irene Monat Stern

We will process the personal data you have supplied in accordance with our privacy policy. You can unsubscribe or change your preferences at any time by clicking the link in any emails.