SACRAMENTO, CA.- The Crocker Art Museum
has acquired "The Bull Fight," a 1936 oil painting by Surrealist and American Regionalist Edna M. Reindel (18941990). The artist, whose work is included in important museum collections nationwide, came to California from the East Coast.
Born in Detroit, Reindel started taking watercolor classes locally before moving to New York. She trained at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn and graduated in 1923. For a time, she worked as a freelance book illustrator. In 1926, she won a Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Fellowship that allowed her to spend summers painting at Laurelton Hall, the Tiffany estate on Long Island. There, she met and became friends with artist Luigi Lucioni, whose tight, meticulous painting style influenced her own.
In 1937, Reindel moved to San Fernando in Southern California to help care for her sick brother. Following his death three years later, she settled in Santa Monica and established herself as a portrait painter of Hollywood stars and their families. The Los Angeles County Museum of Art accorded her a solo show in 1940, and three years later LIFE magazine commissioned her to paint a series of works depicting womens contributions to the war effort.
"The Bull Fight" exemplifies the artists signature realist-surrealist style (she described it as a psychorealist style). The painting attests not only to Reindels technical skills but to her abilities as a storyteller. The true subject of the painting is not really a bull fight as the title suggests, but a woman in blue, who is perhaps loosely based on Lady Brett Ashley from Ernest Hemingways 1926 novel "The Sun Also Rises." Though encircled by men, she remains independent and self-secure a compelling personality in an otherwise faceless crowd.
"The Bull Fight" was acquired by the members of the Crocker Art Museum's board of directors, Director's Circle members, docents, and others, in honor of Lial A. Jones' 20 years as the Crocker Art Museum's director and CEO.
It is wonderful to add this signature painting to the Crockers collection of work by California artists and at the same time recognize Lials 20th anniversary at the Crocker, says Scott A. Shields, the Museums associate director and chief curator. This painting adds significantly to our rapidly growing collection of work by women, whose contributions now account for twenty-five percent of art on display in our modern and contemporary galleries, and far surpasses the national average."