“My idea being that for the sublime and the beautiful and the interesting, you do not have to look far away. You have to know how to see.”

— Hedda Sterne, painter


Hedda Stene with “The Irascibles”, 1950

Hedda Sterne as an artist who created a body of work known for exhibiting a stubborn independence from styles and trends, including Surrealism and Abstract Expressionism, with which she is often associated.  She was a member of a group of Abstract Expressionists known as “The Irascibles” and was the only woman in a famous photograph which included Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning, Barnett Newman, Mark Rothko, and others.

Sterne has been almost completely overlooked in art historical narratives of the post-war American art scene. At the time of her death, possibly the last surviving artist of the first generation of the New York School, Hedda Sterne viewed her widely varied works more as in flux than as definitive statements.

Hedda Sterne and husband Saul Steinberg

Her second husband was Saul Steinberg the Romanian-born American cartoonist and illustrator. Sterne’s works are in the collections of museums including the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., and the National Museum of Women in the Arts, also in Washington, D.C. source

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