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José de Rivera

José de Rivera

American sculptor
José de Rivera
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro American sculptor
Was Artist Sculptor
From United States of America
Type Arts
Gender male
Birth 18 September 1904, Baton Rouge, East Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana, USA
Death 12 March 1985, New York City, New York, USA (aged 80 years)
Star sign Virgo
Notable Works
The details


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

Life and career

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. A photo of the artwork was also used to accompany an article about the exhibition in Newsweek. 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. The artwork was also the basis for the cover of a Miller Company heater design catalogue, thematically called "A spiralating heat wave".

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

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.


  • Black, Yellow, Red, (1942). National Gallery of Art, 1977.75.8
  • American Pavilion at the Expo 58
  • Construction #46, Chazen Museum of Art
  • Form, 1964 World's Fair
  • Infinity, 1967, National Museum of American History
  • Construction #105, 1968, Rochester Institute of Technology
  • Construction #35, 1956, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, 66.1277
  • Construction #76, 1961, Hirshhorn, 66.1279
  • Construction #107, 1969, Hirshhorn, 72.91
  • Construction, Red and Black, 1954, Hirshhorn, 66.1278
  • Construction in Yellow, Black, Red and White, c. 1949–1952, Hirshhorn, 86.1412
  • Homage to the World of Minkowski, 1954–1955, Metropolitan Museum of Art, 55.204ab
  • Construction #158, 1974–1975, Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1985.432ab
  • A Wishing Star, 1956, Dallas Statler Hilton


  • 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.
The contents of this page are sourced from Wikipedia article on 18 Sep 2020. The contents are available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.
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