Pennerton West Biography

Pennerton West

American

1913-1965

Biography

Pennerton West, painter, printmaker and designer, was born in New York City on April 11, 1913. She was a direct descendent of the famous American painter Benjamin West (1738-1820). West studied in New York at the Art Students League and Cooper Union, as well as independent study with abstract artists Hans Hoffman and Ibram Lassaw. In 1946 she joined Stanley William Hayter's Atelier 17 in New York, where she was exposed to a number of major European and American printmakers. According to Christina Weyl in The Women of Atelier 17 (Yale University Press, 2019), at the workshop's 12th group exhibition show at London's Leicester Galleries in March of 1947, Hayter "praised West for exploiting biting out, a technique in which areas of the plate are left unvarnished and exposed to strong acid bite." Owing to the nature of this technique, several of West's works feature a three-dimensional quality on the surface of the sheet.

West's work was included in traveling exhibitions arranged by the American Federation of Arts and the U.S. State Department during the early 1950s, and in 1951 a solo show at the newly-founded Tibor de Nagy Gallery garnered a purchase by MoMa's International Council of her seven-print Atelier 17 portfolio. In March 1953, the Brooklyn Museum mounted an exhibition entitled Nine Women Painters, which featured works by Perle Fine, Helen Frankenthaler, Frannie Hillsmith, Linda Lindeberg, Alice Trumbull Mason, Joan Mitchell, Sonia Sekula, Hedda Stern and Pennerton West. Her prints were twice included in the Brooklyn Museum's National Print Annuals. Her work is in the collections of the Art Institute of Chicago, the Baltimore Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, and the New York Public Library.

Pennerton West died in New York on June 29, 1965.