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b. 1912, Newark, New Jersey
d. 1998, Taos, New Mexico

 

Beatrice Mandelman was born in Newark, New Jersey, the daughter of Jewish immigrants from Austria and Germany. While still a child, she was introduced to art by her parents' friend Louis Lozowick, and began taking classes at the Newark School of Fine and Industrial Art. As a young woman, she studied at Rutgers University and then later at the Art Students League in New York. During the Great Depression, she worked for the Works Progress Administration, first as a muralist and then as a screen printer. In 1942 she married the painter Louis Ribak, and two years later they moved to Taos, New Mexico, where they would live for the rest of their lives.

 

In Taos the young couple became the center of a group of artists known as the Taos Moderns, which included Emil Bisttram, Edward Corbett, Agnes Martin, Oli Sihvonen, and Clay Spohn. Mandelman and Ribak opened the Taos Valley Art School, using the income they made from teaching classes to support their art making. In 1948, Mandelman moved to Paris for a year to study under Fernand Léger, and during this time she befriended Francis Picabia. While she was in Paris, Ribak purchased a sprawling adobe house, and when she returned they created an exhibition space in their living room, which they called Gallery Ribak. The couple organized mini-exhibitions there, including a three-person show for themselves and their friend Agnes Martin in 1955.

 

During her lifetime, she exhibited at the Chicago Art Institute; the Dallas Museum of Art; the National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.; the Museum of Modern Art, and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. Today, her works are included in public collections across the United States, including those of the Art Institute of Chicago; the Denver Art Museum; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; and the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C., and works are on long-term loan at the Museum of Modern Art, New York. Rosenberg & Co. represents the estate of the artist.