IDA KOHLMEYER (1912-1997)
IDA KOHLMEYER (1912-1997)
IDA KOHLMEYER (1912-1997)
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Fifty Years Female: 20th Century Abstraction from a Private Collection
IDA KOHLMEYER (1912-1997)

Landscape No. 1

Details
IDA KOHLMEYER (1912-1997)
Landscape No. 1
signed 'Kohlmeyer' (lower right)
oil on canvas
14 7⁄8 x 21 in. (37.8 x 53.3 cm.)
Painted circa 1960.
Provenance
Estate of the artist
Private collection, New York
Acquired from the above by the present owner

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Julian Ehrlich
Julian Ehrlich Specialist, Head of Sale, Post-War to Present

Lot Essay

"I think it's hideous to see people give up living the life they want, to blame middle age or children and settle for much less than they are capable of."
—Ida Kohlmeyer

Born in New Orleans to Polish-Jewish immigrant parents, Ida Rittenberg Kohlmeyer (1912-1997) grew up with three siblings, earned a degree in English Literature from Tulane University and married her husband all before embarking on any sort of artistic enterprise. Not until after the birth of her two children did she enroll in an MFA program at her alma mater to practice figurative painting. Her post-graduation summer in the artistic community of Provincetown, Massachusetts, however, subjected her to Hans Hofmann's tutelage, where clearly defined form gave way to pictographic, meditative compositions. In 1957, Mark Rothko arranged for studio space in Kohlmeyer's family home while serving as a visiting professor at Tulane; though Kohlmeyer acknowledges both men's significant impact on her understanding of abstraction, she determined to develop her own voice apart from the influences of these two masters. Such voice was recognized with her inclusion in the Twenty-Eighth Biennial of Contemporary American Painting held at the Corcoran Gallery in Washington, D.C. in 1963. Taking a cue from her acquaintance Joan Miró, Kohlmeyer focused the pinnacle of her career on rendering entirely subjective symbology in both paint and sculpture, with work now held in the collections of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Brooklyn Museum and Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, among others.

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