Happy Birthday Irene Rice Pereira (1902-1971)

Born on August 5th in Massachusetts, Pereira was influenced by her mother, an amateur artist andĀ enrolled in 1927 at the Art Students League in night art classes. In 1931, she traveled to Europe and North Africa to further her painting studies. In the mid-1930s she studied with Hans Hofmann, and became one of the founders and first instructors at the Design Laboratory.

Known for her work in the Geometric abstraction, Abstract expressionist, Lyrical Abstraction genres and her use of the principles of the Bauhaus school, Pereira’s works are displayed at the National Gallery of Art, Smithsonian Institution, Hirshhorn Museum, Brooklyn Museum, Boca Raton Museum of Art, Phillips Collection, and the University of Iowa Museum of Art.

She married her first husband, Umberto Pereira, at twenty-one, her second, George Wellington Brown, an engineer, at forty, followed by her third, the Irish poet George Reavey and divorced him seven years later. She used the professional name I. Rice Pereira to avoid discrimination against female artists. Her work reflects her interest in light, space, and mysticism. She began experimenting with various nontraditional materials in the late 1930s, painting on plastic and glass, and adding such substances as marble dust to her pigments. Some critics called her work ethereal.