Irene Rice Pereira


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American painter, born at Chelsea, a suburb of Boston. After studying at the Art Students League, New York, 1927–30, she travelled widely in Europe, returning to New York c.1933. During her travels she had studied with Ozenfant in Paris in 1931 and she shared his interest in mechanistic imagery and ‘unadorned functionalism’. By the late 1930s she had developed a geometrical abstract style (one of the earliest American artists to do so) and continued to explore this mode for the rest of her life. Generally she used rectangular and trapezoid shapes in conjunction with linear grids and loosely brushed textures, and sometimes she added layers of transparent or translucent materials to the canvas, increasing the sense of mysterious spatial effects. She came to see her art in metaphysical terms and wrote several books concerning her interest in light, space, and mysticism, among them The Nature of Space (1957) and The Transcendental Formal Logic of the Infinite (1966). Pereira taught at several colleges and universities in New York and elsewhere.

Subjects: Art.

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