Patterns of Thought Paintings from 1985- 1989
Among the most lauded of the late Hedda Sterne's achievements, "Patterns of Thought" is a series of six paintings that marked the artist's turn to geometric abstraction in the latter half of the 1980s. On view at Van Doren Waxter, "Patterns of Thought Paintings from 1985 - 1989" brings this body of work back to New York City for the first time since 2000.
Born in Romania in 1910, Sterne began her career in Paris before escaping Europe for the United States during World War II. Settling in New York, the artist forged close ties with Peggy Guggenheim—a relationship that no doubt proved indispensable in positioning Sterne alongside Abstract Expressionist contemporaries such as Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, and Barnett Newman.
Even so, throughout her seven decade-long practice, Sterne often shifted between a figurative Surrealist style and pure abstraction. "Patterns of Thought Paintings from 1985 - 1989" offers viewers the rare opportunity to appreciate the artist's meticulous handling of both form and tonality—which, in materializing these compositions, she seems to have wielded in tandem. More than three decades after their creation, the paintings appear radiant in a manner that is at once utilitarian and transcendental.
Hedda Sterne, Untitled, 1985. Oil and oil pastel on canvas, 52 x 52 inches, © The Hedda Sterne Foundation, Inc. / Licensed by ARS, New York, NY.