During the 1940’s, Fine was actively showing her work at galleries and exhibitions in New York and abroad, and was associated with several arts organizations. By 1943, she was affiliated with Hilla Rebay and the Museum for Non-Objective Painting. She was also a Guggenheim scholar, exhibiting with artist as such as Ilya Bolotowsky and Ad Reinhardt. She was a member of the American Abstract Artists, the Society of American Etchers, the Federation of Modern Painters and Sculptors. She also studied with Stanley William Hayter at his Studio 17 and printmaking with Robert Blackburn. Her work was represented in many important venues including the Boston Institute of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum, the Guggenheim Museum, the De Young Museum in San Francisco, and the Spring Salon for Young Artists at Peggy Guggenheim's Art of This Century. Fine's first solo show occurred in 1945 with Marian Willard, and between 1947-1949 was represented by Karl Nierendorf. After the Nierendorf Gallery closing she signed with Betty Parsons, one of the earliest and most prominent New York galleries associated with Abstract Expressionism.
Summering in Provincetown throughout the 1940’s enabled Perle to partake in the strong cultural and social exchange of the artists’ colony. Here, Fine established herself among her peers as a confident and talented artist. She communicated her passion for abstract art and for what she called the ”rigorous facts” of painting through per painting and lecture discussions.
Fine's artwork during the 1940s and 50s touched upon various mediums and abstract styles. She worked in oil, gouache, etching and collage, using materials such as paper, newsprint and sand. Her pictures entertain organically inspired shapes and amorphic forms that seem to float - either painted or collaged over a background. These works are usually bold in color and unique in format: strategically balanced yet daring in arrangement. Somehow the individual elements in these paintings seem to emit a strong, almost sculptural presence, even atop the obvious flatness of the painted canvas. Fine's obsession with color and light gave birth to bold compositions that seem to radiate a single hue in several tones. In a progression from pointillist dots to large planar forms and shapes, her intent seemed to be the suggestion of structure through the breakdown of color.
Beginning in the med-1950’s, Fine's expressionist style began to loosen. She produced thick, heavily painted abstractions using harsh, jagged strokes with a loaded brush. Her focus was the two-dimensional plane: surface, texture and medium. Fine's palette in these often large- scale pieces was one of much more somber tones. These works command attention and despite their voluminous stature, they retain her sense of grace and balance. They are also testament to Fine's associations and interactions with the well-known New York School. In 1950, with the sponsorship and support of her friend, Willem de Kooning, Fine became a member of the 8th Street Club – an informal weekly discussion group held for artists and art critics including William Baziotes, Franz Kline, Leo Castelli, and Clement Greenberg.
However, despite Fine's strong friendships and associations, she was, in effect, the sole female working among the male dominated group of first generation abstract expressionist artists. Understandably, these circumstances presented Fine with impediments to her advancement. To a great extent left out of the support system that was so significant to the confidence of the men shown at Betty Parsons, Fine felt alienated. She made the decision to leave Parsons Gallery, and in 1954 she and Maurice built a one-room studio in the Springs section of East Hampton. Here she would thrive, away from the pressures and politics of New York City, and nearby to her dear friend, Lee Krasner. In the relaxed environment of East Hampton, Fine continued to paint and to exhibit her work often. She partook in all of the East Hampton shows at the Signa Gallery, Guild Hall, and the Parrish Art Museum and showed her work in New York City as well. There, Fine exhibited at the Tanager Gallery, and was one of the few artists to participate in 9th Street Show and all of subsequent Stable Gallery shows. In addition, she exhibited annually with the American Abstract Artists, and also the Federation of Modern Painters and Sculptors.
The final creative segment of Perle Fine's life took shape during the mid-1960s. She became interested in the repetitive rhythm and geometry of the grid. Fine's Accordment series of paintings made use of an underlying linear structure over which bands of color were set in deliberate pattern. These bands of color - often times warm versus cool tones were positioned or juxtaposed in order to achieve the appearance of one pervasive and luminous hue. Working in both the small and large scale, Fine adopted a much lighter touch during this period, generating a translucent glow to these paintings. Her method of using a grid overlaid with pigment integrated the values of "equilibrium" and "balance"- terms that laid the foundation of her formalism inherited from Mondrian. Fine's emphasis to color and its wavering painterly application result in the Accordment paintings achieving just that; they strain to bring about a successful marriage of structure and lyricism.
In addition to her artwork, Fine taught at Hofstra University during the 1960s and was also a visiting critic and lecturer at Cornell University. In the 1974, she was awarded the Arts and Letters Award for Excellence by the American Academy of Arts and Letters. That same year she received an Artist Fellowship by the National Endowment for the Arts. Her final solo exhibition was held at Guild Hall in East Hampton in 1978, entitled Perle Fine: Major Works 1958-1978. Fine was an artist who focused on the doctrines of her movement, anxious to express on canvas her own firm belief in abstraction. It is a testament to her extraordinary passion and skill.
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