(1922 - 1991)
Joyce Wahl Treiman was active/lived in California, Illinois. Joyce Treiman is known for post-real multi-figure, graphics.
Biography from the Archives of askART
Called a "feisty iconoclast," Joyce Treiman was born and raised in the
Midwest but settled in Southern California. There she was
happiest working in whatever style was not in vogue, and she became a
Biography from The Columbus Museum of Art, Georgia
She is known for landscapes, ocean views and interiors peopled with odd
characters, often self-portraits. Artists who inspired her are Thomas
Eakins and Francisco Goya.
American Art Review
As a young girl, Joyce Treiman recalled how important her frequent
visits to the Art Institute of Chicago were toward shaping her
development as an artist. (1) She attended Iowa State University
where she studied painting and drawing with Philip Guston, earning her
B.F.A in 1943.
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Returning to Chicago, she worked as a commercial artist, but after
successful exhibitions at the Art Institute of Chicago and in New York,
she devoted herself full time to painting.
In 1960, Treiman and her husband moved to Pacific Palisades,
California. Over the next three decades, she attracted a loyal group of
collectors and devoted students. Various art critics have acknowledged
that she is an artist's artist. In 1990, she was elected a member
of the National Academy of Design.
Joyce Treiman adhered to the figurative tradition of the Old Masters,
developing a technical virtuosity and thematic approach that resulted
in a body of autobiographical work, which considered the transient
nature of life, the wry comedy of human existence, the creative
process, and her rightful place in art history. Treiman
consistently worked in what she termed the lonely arena of figurative
painting. Reflecting her knowledge and admiration of the artistic past,
Treiman's paintings often include her self-portrait in conjunction with
portraits of artists she admired, such as Giambattista Tiepolo, Thomas
Eakins and Claude Monet.
Confronted with in the early 1980s physical illness, Treiman shifted
her focus from paintings submerged in art history to themes of
mortality but laced with her own dry humor. She had decided to
make a series of "paintings that nobody (would) want…in terms of making
them so personal…that (they) couldn't be turned into
wallpaper."(2) Theodore Wolff stated that nothing previously in
her work had even hinted at the anger and brooding imagery that would
suddenly appear. (3)
Her dramatic change of style and theme suggests that the artist, for
whatever reason, became acutely aware of her own mortality and chose to
explore this question resulting in these very vivid and meaningful
Joyce Treiman died in 1991 of a heart attack. She was 69 years old.
1. Parts of this entry are drawn from the catalogue for an exhibition
curated by Jordana Pomeroy for the National Museum of Women in the
Arts: Washington, D.C., Painting in a Lonely Arena: Joyce Treiman and the Old Masters, December 14, 1998 through July 5, 1999.
2. Pomeroy, 5-6.
3. Theodore Wolff, "Joyce Treiman," Joyce Treiman (New York: Hudson
Hills Press, 1997), 21-22. The series of paintings that Wolff makes
specific reference to is her "Mortality Series," now in the Columbus
Museum [Self Portrait with Skull; The Ram; The Smoker No. 21; The Torso, (all painted in 1983) 98.49.1-4].
Submitted by Staff, Columbus Museum
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