Rifka Angel
American, 1899-1972

Angel was born in Lithuania in 1899 and came to the United States at the age of thirteen. Though largely self taught, Rifka Angel exhibited in many prestigious museums including the Chicago Art Institute, Whitney ,Museum of Modern Art and many others. Gallery exhibits were presented by the Knoedler, Carl Fischer, A.C.A., the Waddington and the Jayson Gallery.Her work is mentioned in many art books. She was included in a travel exhibit organized by the Museum of Modern Art which was shown in 16 cities.

Among her associates were John Sloan, Ben Shahn, Emil Ganzo, Ernest Fiene, Alfred Mauer and the Soyer brothers.Art dealer Weyne selected several watercolors to keep in his gallery. Sloan also arranged for her to be in a group show at the Opportunity Gallery, where in 1926 her gouaches were exhibited with the paintings of Ben Shahn and others established artists.

In 1927 Angel began a two- year visit in Russia, where for nine months she studied with David Sterenberg and others at the Moscow Academy of Art. Her works were exhibited in a group show at the Moscow Museum. Before returning home Angel stopped briefly in Paris where she met Mark Chagall and had a successful show.

Angel had her first one-woman show in New York in 1930 at the Knoedler Gallery, stirring up sensation: simultaneous acclaim from modern art critics and invectives from conservative. Her show almost sold out.Since then, Angel has had countless art shows:

1932-1933- Increase Robinson Gal.,

1934 – Breckenridge Gal., /Chicago/

1936-Carl Fisher Gal.,

1937,1938-Findlay Gal./ New York /,

1941 –Honolulu Academy of Fine Arts,

1943 twice in KansasCity;

1944 Chicago,

1949ACA Gallery /New York,

1954-Van Diemen –Lilienfeld Gal. /New York/ - retrospective .

1964-Park Avenue Gallery--/ NewYork /

The term "encaustic" is described as paint being mixed with pigment and beeswax. Although the presence of modern encaustic painting has been largely felt only in the last 40 to 50 years, its roots go back to the beginning of the 20th century.However, little attention has been paid to the early experimenters with the medium; Rifka Angel was one such pioneer. She began working in encaustic in 1933, using formulas devised by her husband.