Perle Fine 1908 - 1988 American Abstract Expressionism/ New York School Painters
While still in her teens, Perle Fine moved from her native Boston to New York City to study at the Art Students League. By the 1930s her art was firmly anchored in the nonobjective, and she joined the circle of Hans Hofmann and his school. Through her membership in American Abstract Artists in the 1940s, she met Piet Mondrian, whose theories regarding abstraction she admired greatly and applied to her own work. Fine incorporated the influences of Hofmann and Mondrian, rhythm and color, into abstractions that focus on the two-dimensionality of the canvas, balancing her brushstrokes and hues within the composition. Willem de Kooning asked her to join the Club in 1950; one of the first female members, she enjoyed access to the artistic exchange and community within the group. She befriended other women in this circle; Lee Krasner was a lifelong confidante. As Abstract Expressionism gained acceptance, women were largely ignored, while men achieved commercial success. By 1954, Fine felt alienated by the male-dominated art scene in Manhattan. Krasner recommended the beauty of Springs, and Fine and her husband, the painter and photographer Maurice Berezov, built a studio at 41 Red Dirt Road, not far from Krasner and Jackson Pollock’s house. Fine’s art changed in the East End: “When I moved my studio to the country and worked with large bands of color, in many cases black bands of color, some vertical, some horizontal, I remember de Kooning visiting me. He looked through the large studio windows and said excitedly, ‘This is what you are doing, the trees and the landscape around you, aren’t you?’ and I answered, ‘Yes, I believe I am,’ although I first painted the pictures and then saw these forms, the black trunks of the trees in the vertical, and the horizontals of the panorama of the landscape all about me. The paintings then as now were truly abstract paintings—with aesthetics the only goal.” An influential teacher, Fine taught at Hofstra and gave private lessons from 1962 to 1973, while continuing to paint. She did her final works, the Accordment series, in the 1970s, and gave up teaching to complete what she viewed as her masterpiece. She described these paintings as “compelling, mysterious . . . yet very tranquil; they are evocations of being in tune with nature and the Universe.” Fine painted until three years before her death, when Alzheimer’s forced her to stop.