Beatrice Mandelman (December 31, 1912 – June 24, 1998), known as Bea,
was an American abstract artist associated with the group known as the
She was born in Newark, New Jersey to Anna Lisker Mandelman and Louis
Mandelman, Jewish immigrants who imbued their children with their social
justice values and love of the arts. After studying art in New York City
and being employed by the Works Progress Administration Federal Arts
Project (WPA-FAP), Mandelman arrived in Taos, New Mexico, with her artist
husband Louis Leon Ribak in 1944 at the age of 32.
Mandelman’s oeuvre consisted mainly of paintings, prints, and collages.
Much of her work was highly abstract, including her representational pieces
such as cityscapes, landscapes, and still lifes. Through the 1940s, her paintings
feature richly textured surfaces and a subtly modulated, often subdued
color palette. New Mexico landscape and culture had a profound influence
on Mandelman’s style, influencing it towards a brighter palette, more geometric
forms, flatter surfaces, and more crisply defined forms. One critic wrote that
the “twin poles” of her work were Cubism and Expressionism.
Her work is included in many major public collections, including large holdings
at the University of New Mexico Art Museum and Harwood Museum of Art.