Variations for the Menora...from In the Beginning, 1972
Abraham Rattner, 1937. Photograph by Alfredo Valente.
Abraham Rattner (1895 - 1978)
In 1939, with the tensions of World War II increasing, Rattner returned to the United States, where he was quickly recognized as a leading modernist painter and a superb colorist. In 1940, with his friend Henry Miller, Rattner traveled from New York City south to record life in modern America. Miller’s writing and Rattner’s illustrations were published as The Air-Conditioned Nightmare (1945), a quirky chronicle of their travels.
Rattner exhibited his painting in New York galleries until 1947 when personal events altered his artistic style. The public exposure of the horrors of the Holocaust after World War II, along with the death of his wife, caused Rattner to turn away from painting for a time. When he resumed his career, he renewed an early interest in architecture and architectural elements, making designs for mosaic and stained glass. By 1960, Rattner’s designs, in a modern idiom, brought together stories from his Jewish heritage, including religious themes, with references to the Holocaust or to nuclear war, to convey his concern for the human condition. His late paintings are clearly related to his stained glass designs in their symbolic force and in style, namely his use of vivid colors and bold, swooping outlines that unify the compositions.
-From Rattner's bio, American Art: The Philips Collection
There Was Darkness Over All of the Land
April Showers, 1950
Among Those Who Stood There, 1944
Still Life w/ Oysters
Let There Be Light...from In the Beginning, 1972
Moses and the Burning Bush...from In the Beginning, 1972
Moses and the Tables of Stone...from In the Beginning, 1972
Paradise Lost...from In the Beginning, 1972
And David Smote the Philistine...from The Beginning Portfolio, 1972
Untitled Saint, 1950
Abraham Rattner in his Paris studio.
The Annunciation to Noah...from In the Beginning, 1972
Fire from Verve Magazine Vol.1, 1937
Homage to Goya
Stained Glass Wall, Chicago Loop Synagogue.
Photo from Art Institute of Chicago.
Rattner in 1930 with Henry Miller
Still Life Composition No. 3, 1950