- Ellen G. Landau
(b New York, Oct 27, 1908; d New York, June 19, 1984).
American painter. She decided at an early stage to become an artist, and in 1926 she enrolled at the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Art and Science in Manhattan. In 1928 she transferred to the National Academy of Design, and although her tenure there was unpromising (her teachers considered her incorrigible), she painted her first important work there, a forthright and psychologically revealing Self-portrait (1930; artist’s estate, see 1965 exh. cat., no. 1). Due to the Depression she was forced to work at menial jobs by day and attend art classes at night. In the early 1930s she experimented with the prevalent style of social realism and the enigmatic imagery of Giorgio De Chirico and Joan Miró, but it was not until 1937, when she entered the Hans Hofmann School of Fine Arts, that she found an environment in which her art could flourish. Immediately grasping the most radical tenets of Fauvism, Cubism and Hofmann’s own theories, she began to create powerful abstract still-lifes (e.g. ...