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 Idelle Lois Weber  (1932 - )

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Lived/Active: New York/California/Illinois / Australia      Known for: super realist, pop-modernist object painting

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Ad Code: 3
Idelle Lois Weber
from Auction House Records.
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Idelle Weber, photo-Realist painter of Pop-Art objects and printmaker of fruit-stands, urban trash, landscapes and gardens, was born in Chicago, Illinois in 1932, and grew up in Wilmette, Illinois, and Los Angeles, California. She was unique in that she was one of the few women Pop artists of the 1960s, and she described her work that included torn wrappers and broken glass on filthy streets as "beautiful garbage" (Rubinstein 388). Often, she delineated the differences in garbage between social classes such as between those who lived in Harlem and those who lived in Penthouses on Central Park.

Her art talent was apparent when she was a child. At age eight, she moved to Beverly Hills with her family and became the youngest student at the Chouinard Art Institute in Los Angeles and because of her age, was not allowed in the life class. From her high school, she won a National Scholastic Art Award scholarship to Scripps College in Claremont, California.  In 1955, she earned her M.F.A. degree from the University of California, Los Angeles. At that time, her artwork was grey-toned abstractions.

In 1956, having been married and divorced, she moved to New York City, which became her permanent home, but she also spends much time in Sag Harbor, Long Island, New York.  The city of New York inspired her work, and she abandoned her earlier abstract style for scenes reflecting city life.  In 1964, she did a Munchkin series, which was silhouettes of "people caught in arrested motion" (Rubinstein, 388) in various settings such as offices, grocery stores, and hotel lobbies, and created these figures in a way that suggested loneliness and empty souls.  She also did still life of city objects such as fruit stands, pushcarts, and the litter referenced earlier. Weber has been especially focused on visual accidents of color and form.

In 1957, she remarried and had two children, whose responsibility postponed the exhibition part of her career.  She had her first one-woman show at Bertha Schaefer's in 1964, and in 1974, she started exhibiting regularly at the O.K. Harris Gallery.

Weber began teaching in 1974. She has been an Associate Professor of Visual and Environmental Studies at Harvard University, an Adjunct Associate Professor of Graduate Painting at New York University, and has taught at Long Island University, New York. Weber was also an Artist in Residence at Melbourne University's Victoria Collegel of the Arts, Melbourne, Australia.

Weber was elected an academician of the National Academy of Design in 2002.

Initially a Pop Artist, she first exhibited in 1956 in the Museum of Modern Art exhibition, "Recent Drawings, U.S.A." while still quite young and attending the Art Students League in New York City. Among many other exhibitions are those at the Guggenheim Museum, 1964; Wadsworth Atheneum, Connecticut, 1966,1974; Whitney Downtown Museum, New York City; Smithsonian Institution, National Collection of Fine Arts, Washington, D.C., 1976; O.K. Harris Gallery, New York City, 1977, 1979, 1983; Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, 1981; Ruth Siegel Contemporary Gallery, New York City, 1984, 1986.

Idelle Weber's work is in the collections of the Smithsonian Institution, National Collection of Fine Arts, Washington, D.C.; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, California; Worcester Art Museum, Massachusetts; Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York; Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City; Art Institute of Chicago, Illinois; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, Fogg Museum, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts; Nelson-Atkins Museum, Kansas City, Missouri; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York City.

A listing of Weber's one-person exhibitions include:
1998 Schmidt Bingham Gallery, New York, NY
1997 Schmidt Bingham Gallery, New York, NY
1996 "First Shot: Idelle Weber," Victoria College of the Arts, Melbourne University, Melbourne, Australia
1995 "Idelle Weber: Paintings and Monotypes," Santa Barbara Contemporary Arts Forum, Santa Barbara, CA
1994 "Idelle Weber, Paintings and Works on Paper," Schmidt Bingham Gallery, NY
"Idelle Weber, Paintings, H Gerald Peters Gallery, Santa Fe, NM
"Idelle Weber, Cambridge Series Monotypes," Jean Albano Gallery. Chicago
"Idelle Weber, Paintings and Works on Paper," Colorado State University
1992 "Idelle Weber, The Golden Bough Series," Anthony Ralph Gallery, NY
1991 "Idelle Weber/East End Paintings," Anthony Ralph Gallery, New York
1989 "Botanical References," Anthony Ralph Gallery, New York
1988 "Idelle Weber Gardens," Squibb Gallery, Princeton, NJ
1987 "Idelle Weber, Paintings and Works on Paper," Ruth Siegel, Ltd., NY
"Idelle Weber, Paintings and Drawings," Fendrick Gallery, Washington, D.C.
1986 "Idelle Weber, Paintings and Works on Paper, 1984-1985," Arts Club of Chicago
1985 "Idelle Weber, Paintings and Works on Paper, 1984-1985," Ruth Siegel, Ltd., NY
1984 "Idelle Weber, Paintings and Works on Paper, 1982-1984," Siegel Contemporary Art, NY

Weber's private collections include:

American Telephone and Telegraph
Becton Dickinson & Company, New York, New York
Bank of Tokyo, New York, New York
Chemical Bank, New York, New York
Goldman Sachs &; Company, New York, New York
Grey Advertising, Inc., New York, New York
Merrill Lynch Pierce Fenner & Smith, Inc., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, New York, New York
Pacific Bell, San Francisco, California
Union Banks, Los Angeles, California

Charlotte Rubinstein, American Women Artists
Jules and Nancy Heller, North American Women Artists of the 20th Century

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