Modern and Contemporary Art
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Photo credit: Yale University Art Gallery
Full-size image not available for download. Please contactRights and Reproductions.
PrevNext2 of 2
Photo credit: Yale University Art Gallery
Full-size image not available for download. Please contactRights and Reproductions.
Artist: Hedda Sterne, American, born Romania, 1910–2011

Tondo

ca. 1953

Oil on canvas

77 cm (30 3/8 in) diameter
Gift of Susan Morse Hilles
1984.75.7
Hedda Sterne fled to New York in 1941 after narrowly escaping a massacre of Romanian Jews in Bucharest. In the 1950s, the artist depicted her new surroundings in various abstract paintings. In these canvases, the structure, speed, and motion of the city are invoked in abstract, overlapping forms that seem to be in continuous movement. Here, the dynamic lines of the painting are enhanced by the round (tondo) format of the painting. Paintings like these demonstrate the active role that Sterne played in the dissemination of Abstract Expressionism. Indeed, in 1950 Life magazine named Sterne one of the best artists under age thirty-six, recognizing her innovative style. (Many publications had wrongly listed her birth year as 1916, an error she only corrected much later.)
Culture: 
American
Period: 
20th century
Classification: 
Paintings
Status: 
Not on view
Bibliography: 

Frauke V. Josenhans et al., Artists in Exile: Expressions of Loss and Hope (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 2017), 23, fig. 8.

Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of such records is ongoing.