|This biography from the Archives of AskART:|
|Jane Berlandina, a painter, muralist, set designer for the San
Francisco Opera House, and lecturer, was a highly visible artist in San
Francisco in the early 20th Century. She was especially known for
her modernist watercolors and for her abstract Depression-era, WPA
murals that went against the grain of the prevalent American-Scene
style. Among her work is the mural Home Life (1934),
which she painted in Coit Tower in San Francisco, and which showed much
influence of her teacher, Raoul Dufy. It was an era when
Diego Rivera, Mexican muralist, had strong influence among prominent
Northern California female muralists such as Emmy Lou Packard and
Marian Simpson, but Berlandina was unique for holding to her own style
and for rebelling against the Rivera 'groupie' mentality among her
Berlandina was born in Nice, France, and studied at the Ecole Nationale
des Arts Decoratifs in Paris with Raoul Dufy. With this
background, she began her painting career as an abstractionist.
However, she went to New York, taking a job as a teacher in a private
girls school in Tarrytown, and received much attention for her
'Dufy-like' floral watercolors. "Rapidly executed with jarring
colors in unexpected juxtapositions---a favorite combination was burnt
orange against electric blue---they seemed to manifest the push-pull
theories that Hans Hofmann would later make famous." (Trenton 28).
She arrived in California in 1931, after her marriage to architect
Henry Howard. It is possible that she met Hoffman in the Bay
area, as he was there in 1931 as a teacher at Berkeley.
In California, Berlandina was a member of the San Francisco Art
Association and the Society of Women Artists, and in 1939, exhibited
her work with the Fourteen Bay Area Watercolorists.
Edan Hughes, Artists in California
Patricia Trenton, Indpendent Spirits
Gordon T. McClelland and Jay T. Last, California Watercolors, 1850-1970
Charlotte Rubinstein, American Women Artists
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