1980 - 1990

In the 1980s, Hedda Sterne began a new, highly meditative body of work that would become one of her longest sustained explorations. Sterne's titles for the series, alternately "Patterns of Thought" and "Architecture of the Mind," refer to two major themes: the uncertainty of perspective and geometry through surfaces that at once project and recede; and the appearance in the work of symbolic shapes and patterns (a star, a cross, etc.), which for Sterne called to mind theories of universal, pre-existing patterns across cultures and throughout nature.

Hedda Sterne, Untitled, 1983, Oil, pastel on canvas, 72 in. x 52 in.

Hedda Sterne, Untitled, 1985, Mixed media on canvas, 52 in. x 52 in.

Hedda Sterne, Untitled #15, 1989, Oil on linen, 26 x 80 in., Collection of The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts

Hedda Sterne, Rectangles, 1981, Acrylic on canvas, 54 x 72 in., Collection of the Queens Museum, New York

Hedda Sterne, Untitled, 1983, Oil, pastel on canvas, 52 in. x 52 in.

Hedda Sterne, Untitled, c. 1985, Graphite, crayon, watercolor on paper, 12 in. x 9 in. 

Hedda Sterne, Untitled #16, 1989, Oil on canvas, 100 1/4 x 51 3/4 in. (254.6 x 131.4 cm); Collection of Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego; Gift of Deborah and David Guss, 1992.26

Hedda Sterne, Untitled, c. 1991-1992, Oil and pastel on canvas, 40 in. x 80 in.

Hedda Sterne, Elegy, c. 1990, oil crayon on canvas, 48 x 160 in., Collection of Flint Institute of Arts; Gift of the artist, 2006.83