Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Happy birthday, Hedda!

Hedda Sterne is celebrating today her 100th birthday. Born on August 4, 1910 in Bucharest, she is an artist best remembered as the only woman in a group of Abstract Expressionists known as "The Irascibles" which consisted of Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning, Barnett Newman, Mark Rothko, and others. In her artistic career, she is known for maintaining a stubborn independence from styles and trends, including Surrealism and Abstract Expressionism, with which she is often associated.

Hedda Sterne [portraited in the photo by Gjon Mili] was born as Hedwig Lindenberg, to Simon Lindenberg, a high school language teacher, and Eugenie Wexler. Sterne was raised with artistic values from a young age, most notably, her tie to Surrealism, which stemmed from a family friend, Victor Brauner. Sterne was homeschooled until age 11. Upon her high school graduation in 1927, she attended art classes in Vienna, then had a short attendance at the University of Bucharest studying philosophy and art history before she dropped out to pursue artistic training independently.

Hedda married a childhood friend Frederick Sterne in 1932. In 1941 she escaped a certain death from Nazi encroachment during WWII when she fled to New York to be with her husband. In 1944 she remarried Saul Steinberg and became a U.S. citizen. She was involved in many shows and exhibits in New York and practiced her art up until she had a stroke that affected her vision and movement when she was 94.

Source: Wikipedia