Idelle Weber, American (1932 - 2020)

Idelle Weber was an American Pop artist best known for her striking compositions of black silhouettes of corporate workers, set against brightly colored backdrops. Weber was born in Chicago 1932, and grew up in Wilmette, Illinois before moving to Los Angeles, California at age 8. She attended Scripps College in Claremont, California for one year before transferring to University of California Los Angeles where she earned her bachelor’s and master's degrees in art. After graduating, Weber moved to New York City, where she joined the Arts Student League and began to pave her own way in the male-dominated Pop Art world. Her most notable work focused on themes of consumerism, advertising, and the anonymity of the corporate world. Her silhouette paintings depicted businessmen, office workers, couples, brides, families, all engaged in everyday activities. Despite her early success, when her work was displayed in the Museum of Modern Art’s “Recent Drawings USA” exhibition, Weber faced many challenges as a woman in the male-dominated genre. For example, in 1957, she was denied entry to a class taught by the Abstract Expressionist Robert Motherwell at Hunter College because of her plans to marry and have children. However, Weber married, had children, and continued to create art. In the 1970s, she shifted away from Pop art to Photorealism, creating paintings of New York City food stalls and piles of trash, finding the beauty in detritus and decay. Weber passed away in 2020 at the  age of 88. Her work is included in the permanent collection of the Art Institute of Chicago, the Brooklyn Museum, the Harvard Art Museums, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Yale University Art Gallery. She also joined Hollis Taggart gallery in 2018, where she has had two solo shows.