Professor Karen Bearor shared her expertise on American artist Irene Rice Pereira at “Cut, Cast, Carved, and Coupled: Perspectives on Women in American Art,” the 27th Annual American Art Conference of Initiatives in Art and Culture, in New York this month. Dr Bearor presented her paper “Emblem for a Journey: Irene Rice Pereira’s Self-Portrait, from 1930s Machine Aesthetic to 1960s Mysticism,” and gave a gallery talk at a D. Wigmore Fine Art viewing of The Nature of Space, an exhibition of Pereira’s 1940s glass constructions and 1960s Lapis paintings.
Doctoral candidate Ali Reilly, who attended the conference, writes of Bearor’s talks:
It was one of the most eye-opening learning experiences I have had, to see the scholar who wrote the book on Pereira explaining the works while the audience was able to view them in person. There were many collectors in the audience and the Assistant Curator of American Art at the Met also gave a presentation. However – and I’m not just saying this because she’s from FSU and one of my professors – Dr. Bearor’s talks were the best. A lot of people sought her out to discuss Pereira’s work. The glass paintings were amazing, and Dr. Bearor really put a spotlight on her art.
Bearor’s Irene Rice Pereira: Her Paintings and Philosophy (University of Texas Press, 1993) was the first book to investigate the influential New York artist. Pereira was one of the first two women to receive a solo exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art, in 1953, yet she remained almost unknown to the general public and rarely included in studies of the period until Bearor published her monograph.