Media File
Irene Rice Pereira
Date: American painter, 1902–1971
Biography: Pereira is best known for her geometric abstractions and paintings on glass. Born in Massachusetts, she worked as an accountant before beginning to study art with Richard Lahey and Jan Matulka at the Art Students League in the late 1920s. In 1931 she traveled to Paris for study with Ozenfant at the Academie Moderne, and in 1933 she studied briefly with Hans Hofmann at the League. In the 1930s she exhibited her work in New York and began to lecture on modern art. With W.P.A. support, she helped found the Design Laboratory, a cooperative school of industrial design in New York that drew on the philosophy of the Bauhaus. In the 1940s, Pereira began publishing and teaching—developing her philosophy of art, light, and space—and her work was purchased by the Museum of Modern Art in New York. In 1953 the Whitney Museum of American Art staged a retrospective exhibition of her work, placing her among the first women artists to be given a solo show in a New York museum. Her papers are owned by the National Museum of Women in the Arts.