1946 Abraham Rattner oil on canvas Bull Fighter Painting


Born in 1895 in Poughkeepsie, New York, Abraham Rattner studied architecture at the George Washington University and art at the Corcoran College of Art and Design and the the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. When the United States entered World War I Rattner volunteered to serve in the Army. In 1920, after the armistice, Rattner went to Paris, studying at l’Ecole des Beaux Arts, l’Académie de la Grande Chaumiere, and l’Académie Ranson. During his 20-year residence in France he encountered cubism, surrealism, and futurism. He met Pablo Picasso, architect Le Corbusier, and American expatriate author Henry Miller. Ratner adopted a cubist style, interpreting nature in bold, vibrant color arrangements.

In 1939, with the tensions of World War II increasing Rattner returned to the United States, where he was quickly recognized as a leading modernist painter and a superb colorist. In 1940, with his friend Henry Miller, Rattner traveled from New York City south to record life in modern America. Miller’s writing and Rattner’s illustrations were published as The Air Conditioned Nightmare (1945), a quirky chronicle of their travels Rattner exhibited his painting in New York galleries until 1947 when personal events altered his artistic style. The public exposure of the horrors of the Holocaust after World War II, along with the death of his wife, caused Rattner to turn away from painting for a time. When he resumed his work, he turned to an expressive style similar to stained glass with impasto paint and segmented color divided by thick black lines.

In stock


Additional information

Dimensions 32 × 28.5 in