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About the Artist

Mercedes Matter (née Carles; 1913 – December 4, 2001) was an American painter and writer. She was a founding member of the American Abstract Artists , and the Founder and Dean Emeritus of the New York Studio School.

Her father, the American modernist Arthur B. Carles, had studied with Matisse and her mother, Mercedes de Cordoba, was a model for Edward Steichen. She began painting under her father’s supervision at age 6, and studied art at Bennett College in Millbrook, N.Y., and then in New York City with Maurice Sterne, Alexander Archipenko and Hans Hofmann.

In the late 1930’s, she was an original member of the American Abstract Artists organization and worked for the federal Works Progress Administration, assisting Fernand Léger on his mural for the French Line passenger ship company. Léger introduced her to Herbert Matter, the Swiss graphic designer and photographer, whom she married in 1939.

Artist CV




Matter has had solo exhibitions at Tanager Gallery, NY; Yale Norfolk, CT; Washington Art Association, CT; East Hampton Center for Contemporary Art, NY; the New York Studio School; and Salander-O’Reilly Galleries, NY. Her work can be found in the collections at the Corcoran Gallery, Washington, D.C.; Delaware Museum of Art; Parrish Museum, NY; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, NY. She has received the Distinguished Teaching Award from the College Art Association; the Gottlieb Foundation Grant; the Ingram Merril Grant; and the Tiffany Foundation Grant.

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