Lecture: ”Hedda Sterne Rediscovered”

Sunday, December 7 2014, 05.00 p.m.

10 Lincoln Center Plaza, New York, NY 10023

 Lecture by:

Radu Stern – art historian, former Director of Education at the Musée d’Elysée in Lausanne, Switzerland, and the author of From Dada to Surrealism: Jewish Avant-Garde Artists from Romania

Cosmin Nasui – art critic, contemporary art expert, director of PostModernism Museum

The Event

For the Film Festival Making Waves the 9th edition, PostModernism Museum proposes a special event ”Hedda Sterne, Early Years (1930 – 1940) in Bucharest, the story”, taking place at Film Society of Lincoln Center.

The event consists of a one-hour interactive presentation of the story of Hedda Sterne early artworks, in the context of the between-wars period. The guests are then invited for a lively interaction with the organisers and the curator.

The context

PostModernism Museum (Bucharest, Romania) has the privilege to hold a collection of Hedda Sterne artworks, from the period when she was living and working in Bucharest, before the Second World War (1930 – 1940). These works have never been exhibited until now.

After more than 70 years, the director of  PostModernism Museum, a curator and art critic, discovers, due to a personal context, Hedda Sterne works and tumultuous life story. She left for US in 1941. Her friend and colleague of studio, the artist Medi Wechsler Dinu, having her 106 birthday this December (2014), has agreed to be interviewed and to supply information, archive and memoirs for the exhibition. Hedda’s house and studio still exist in Bucharest, after interesting stories.

The story

Hedda Sterne (born Hedwig Lindenberg; August 4, 1910 – April 8, 2011) was an artist best remembered as part of The Irascible Eighteen, a group of abstract painters who protested the Metropolitan Museum of Art‘s policy towards American painting of the 1940s and who posed for a famous picture in 1950; members of the group besides Sterne included: Willem de Kooning, Adolph Gottlieb, Ad Reinhardt, Richard Pousette-Dart, William Baziotes, Jimmy Ernst, Jackson Pollock, James Brooks, Clyfford Still, Robert Motherwell, Bradley Walker Tomlin, Theodoros Stamos, Barnett Newman, and Mark Rothko.

She is the wife of Saul Steinberg, the Romanian-born American cartoonist and illustrator, best known for his work for The New Yorker.

Hedda was the only woman photographed with the group by Nina Leen for Life magazine in 1950.

In her artistic endeavors she created a body of work known for exhibiting a stubborn independence from styles and trends, including Surrealism and Abstract Expressionism, with which she is often associated. At the time of her death, possibly the last surviving artist of the first-generation of the New York School, Hedda Sterne viewed her widely varied works more as in flux than as definitive statements.

Her works are in the collections of museums including the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., and the National Museum of Women in the Arts, also in Washington, D.C.


Project co-produced with Nasui Collection & Gallery and Romanian Film Initiative