Hedda Sterne American

Not on view

Sterne was a member of the New York School and the only woman artist to appear alongside the male artists featured in the famous 1951 photograph of the "Irascibles," so-called because of their protest against the conservative jurying process at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Early in her career, before immigrating to New York in 1941, Sterne had strong ties to the European Dada and Surrealist movements, especially through family friend, Victor Brauner. Her debt to Surrealism is very much in evidence in Machine, which features two mechanomorphic creatures comprised of a jumble of metal hardware, from bolts and screws to gears, pulleys, and wheels. Sterne was an avid observer of both urban and agricultural machinery. As the artist said of a 1947 visit to the country, "I discovered agricultural machines. I had a feeling that machines are unconscious portraits of people’s psyches: the grasping, the wanting, the aggression that’s in a machine."

Machine, Hedda Sterne (American, Bucharest 1910–2011 New York, New York), Oil on canvas

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