Ida Rittenberg Kohlmeyer (American/New Orleans, 1912-1997), "Crux Series", oil on canvas, signed lower center, 32 1/4 in. x 47 1/2 in., period frame. Note: From 1967 to 1969, Ida Kohlmeyer created several new series including “Crux,” “Rondo,” and “Chrysalis,” all of which focused on combining organic forms, geometric shapes, and concentric circles. Her works from this time period have often been compared to those of Georgia O’Keeffe, particularly O’Keeffe’s magnified views of the reproductive organs of flowers. While Kohlmeyer’s paintings are more stylized and abstract than those of O’Keeffe, there is a distinct correlation between the manner in which the two artists connect the idea of female sexuality with forms on the canvas that begin in the center and expand toward the edges. The “Crux” series, however, inserts an additional cruciform element to the combination. Distinct similarities exist between the current lot and “Crux #11,” illustrated in Ida Kohlmeyer: Thirty Years. Both paintings have vertical-format, diamond and cross-form compositions with concentric circle centers, which combine to perfectly illustrate the artist’s experimentation with geometric abstraction.
Ref.: Mint Museum Department of Art. Ida Kohlmeyer: Thirty Years. Charlotte, NC: Mint Museum, 1983; Plante, Michael. Ida Kohlmeyer. New Orleans: Newcomb Art Gallery, 2004.