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Yvonne Thomas

American, 1913-2009


Curating Works


Yvonne Thomas was born in Nice, France in 1913 and moved to the United States in 1925. She graduated from Cooper Union in 1928 and joined the Art Students League in 1940. She also studied at the Ozenfant School of Art in France. She had already abandoned a promising career as a commercial artist and fashion illustrator in her thirties to pursue painting. Her earliest training in New York was under Alphaeus Cole at Cooper Union. In 1948 she met Patricia Matta, wife of the famous Surrealist, Roberto Matta who introduced her to a group of abstract painters forming a school called Subjects of the Artist. Thomas enrolled and lived in New York City. Thomas was one of five privileged students to be part of the now famous Subject of the Artists School that was conducted by Motherwell, Rothko, Newman, Baziotes, and Hare in 1948. She worked for a year directly with Robert Motherwell. Thomas was further influenced by Hans Hoffman’s principles at his Manhattan school. Thomas was nearly forty years old and already an accomplished painter when the 9th Street Show opened in 1951. She also showed at the Stable Gallery and the Tanager Gallery in the 1950s. Her work is in the collections of National Gallery of Art, Corcoran Gallery, Riverside Museum, Mougins Museum, and Seatle Art Museum.