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NY, NY No. X is a prime example of Sterne’s works from the late 1940s. As the title suggests, her subject was the bridges and the elevated railways of New York City, which she abstracted into a mass of lines and planes. After arriving from war-torn Europe in 1941, Sterne became associated with the emerging generation of American painters. She was famously the only woman – alongside Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko and others – in Nina Leen’s 1951 Life magazine photograph of ‘The Irascibles’, abstract artists objecting to the conservatism of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

June 2013