José de Rivera

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José Ruiz de Rivera
Archives of American Art - Jose De Rivera - 2059 CROPPED.jpg
José de Rivera, 1937
Born(1904-09-18)September 18, 1904
DiedMarch 12, 1985(1985-03-12) (aged 80)
New York City, New York
Known forSculpture
Notable work
  • Infinity (1967)
  • Black, yellow, red (1942)

José Ruiz de Rivera (September 18, 1904 – March 12, 1985) was an American abstract sculptor.[1][2]

Life and career[edit]

José Ruiz de Rivera was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and grew up in New Orleans. He dropped out of high school, but finished at a boarding school. He worked on a plantation fixing farm machinery. In 1924, he moved to Chicago. He studied drawing with muralist John W. Norton and worked for the Federal Arts Project of the Works Progress Administration.

In 1932, he moved to Manhattan. He also worked as a model maker for Sikorsky Aircraft. He served in the United States Army Air Corps in World War II, and at the Training Aids Development Center.

In 1946, he had his first one-man show at the Mortimer Levitt Gallery, New York City.

In 1947–52, de Rivera's Black, yellow, red (1942) was exhibited in the 25-venue Painting toward architecture exhibition organized by the Miller Company Collection of Abstract Art. The artwork received a lot of media attention during the exhibition and, for example, was the artwork spotlighted (via the one photo accompanying the article) in the New York Times article about the first venue of the exhibition at the Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford, CT.[3] A photo of the artwork was also used to accompany an article about the exhibition in Newsweek.[4][5] Black, yellow, red was also featured in Henry-Russell Hitchcock's accompanying book Painting toward architecture (1948), with foreword by Alfred Barr of the Museum of Modern Art, New York.[6] The artwork was also the basis for the cover of a Miller Company heater design catalogue, thematically called "A spiralating heat wave".[7]

In 2002–03, the Valerie Carberry Gallery in Chicago exhibited Jose de Rivera: Abstract Sculpture, Painting and Works on Paper.[8]

On March 12, 1984, at the age of 80, de Rivera died at Lenox Hill Hospital, New York City, five weeks after suffering a stroke.[1]



  • Pachner, Joan (2002). José de Rivera : sculpture, paintings, works on paper : 1 November 2002-3 January 2003. Chicago, IL: Valerie Carberry Gallery. ISBN 9780972483704. OCLC 53228605.
  • Ashton, Dore; Marter, Joan M. (1980). José De Rivera, constructions. Madrid: Taller Ediciones. ISBN 9788473300858.


  1. ^ a b Times Wire Services (March 23, 1985). "Jose de Rivera, Noted for Metal Sculptures, Dies". Los Angeles Times. New York. Retrieved January 13, 2019.
  2. ^ "José De Rivera 1904-1985". Tate. Retrieved January 13, 2019.
  3. ^ Louchheim, Aline B. (December 21, 1947). "Using the abstract: Hartford show reverals how industrial firm puts a collection to work". New York Times. Retrieved January 22, 2017.
  4. ^ (January 19, 1948). "Art in the factory". Newsweek. Retrieved January 22, 2017.
  5. ^ ADC staff (July 16, 2016). "The Painting toward architecture exhibition (1947-52), Miller Company Collection of Abstract Art: Documentation and historical information (2016)". Retrieved January 13, 2019.
  6. ^ Hitchcock, Henry-Russell. (1948). Painting toward architecture. Miller Company: Meriden, CT. Retrieved January 22, 2017.
  7. ^ Louchheim, Aline B. (December 1947). "Abstraction on the assembly line". ARTnews. Retrieved January 22, 2017.
  8. ^ "Jose De Rivera: Abstract Sculpture, Painting and Works on Paper". Retrieved January 13, 2019.
  9. ^ "Black, Yellow, Red". National Gallery of Art. Retrieved January 13, 2019.
  10. ^ Villarreal, Ignacio (October 11, 2010). "Major 20th-Century Private Sculpture Collection Goes to Chazen Museum of Art". Madison, WI. Retrieved January 13, 2019.
  11. ^ "Flushing Meadows Corona Park Monuments - Free Form : NYC Parks". Retrieved January 13, 2019.
  12. ^ "Jose de Rivera - RIT: Art on Campus". Retrieved January 13, 2019.
  13. ^ "Construction #35". Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden. Retrieved January 13, 2019.
  14. ^ "Construction #76". Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden. Retrieved January 13, 2019.
  15. ^ "Construction #107". Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden. Retrieved January 13, 2019.
  16. ^ "Construction, Red and Black". Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden. Retrieved January 13, 2019.
  17. ^ "Construction in Yellow, Black, Red and White". Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden. Retrieved January 13, 2019.
  18. ^ "Homage to the World of Minkowski". Metropolitan Museum of Art. Retrieved January 13, 2019.
  19. ^ "Construction #158". Metropolitan Museum of Art. Retrieved January 13, 2019.
  20. ^ "Mr de Rivera to Supervise Installations". The Dallas Morning News. January 12, 1956.

External links[edit]