Ida Rittenberg Kohlmeyer

Geometric Purple and Brown Abstract Painting, 1978



Acrylic Paint


Lovely geometric abstract featuring strong purple and brown tones by renowned artist Ida Kohlmeyer. Acrylic on canvas, circa 1978. Signed and dated in lower right corner. Hung in a simple light brown frame.

Artist Biography

The daughter of Polish immigrants, Ida Kohlmeyer was born in 1912 in New Orleans, Louisiana, where she would reside for the majority of her life. Following her graduation from Sophie Newcomb Memorial College at Tulane University, she married and raised a family. She casually began studying drawing and painting relatively late in life, taking her first classes at the John McCrady Art School in the French Quarter in 1947. Having discovered a passion for painting, she eventually pursued a master's degree in fine arts at her alma mater. Kohlmeyer produced figurative studies of children and other representational subjects until she graduated in 1956. Immediately following graduation, she spent a formative summer at the Provincetown, Massachusetts, art colony where she studied under Hans Hoffman, the foremost instructor of modernist theory. Kohlmeyer likened her shift towards abstraction to being freed from prison. Her "great awakening" was further cemented by her encounter with Mark Rothko the following year. Rothko, a leading Abstract Expressionist, had come to New Orleans as a visiting artist at Tulane, and he set up his studio at Kohlmeyer's family home. Rothko's influence had such a profound impact on Kohlmeyer that she struggled for years to find her own unique style independent from his. Throughout her active career, which continued into the 1990s, Kohlmeyer successfully exhibited her work in New York galleries and important museums. She considered herself a beneficiary of the feminist art movement and in 1980 received the National Women's Caucus for Art's outstanding achievement award. She described her drive to make art as a "compulsion, a withdrawal from much that is pleasureable in life, a need to work, for which no other activity can substitute, and a constant search for self." Ida Kohlmeyer's work is represented in the permanent collections of such prestigious institutions as the Smithsonian American Art Museum, National Museum of Women in the Arts, High Museum, Brooklyn Museum, and Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, among others. Ida Kohlmeyer passed away in 1997 in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Dimensions With Frame

H 21 in. X W 21.75 in. X D 1.75 in.

Dimensions Without Frame

H 14.5 in. x W 15.5 in.