September 25 1897 - March 04 1966
Photograph of Eve Peri, unknown date, unknown photographer, courtesy of Michael Rosenfeld Gallery, LLC, New York, NY, USA
Place of Birth:
Drawings and prints, Painting, Textiles and clothing
Collagist, Designer, Embroiderer, Needleworker, Painter, Self-taught Artist, Textile Artist, Watercolorist
Born in Bangor, Maine in 1897, Eve Peri learned to sew at an early age. Her mother and aunts taught her the basics of appliqué and embroidery, skills that she developed into an artistic career. After an early marriage and divorce, Peri moved to Mexico where she had a special-order embroidery business. Influenced by the work of Henri Matisse, she embroidered colorful designs on garments, many of which her clients prized too highly to wear and instead framed as wall hangings. In 1931, realizing her own creative talent, and desiring to expand her work as an embroiderer, Peri decided to become an artist.
Peri married Columbian designer and painter Alfonso Umaña Mendez, and together they set up a workshop that produced hand-woven fabrics with modern designs for interiors, theater, and fashion. During the 1930s, deeply influenced by the vibrant colors of Mexico, she also created images of stylized birds, animals, and plants in flat compositions in watercolor on tissue.
In 1939, Peri divorced her husband and made her first trip to Paris where her interest in the history of formal embroidery lead her to make a detailed study of the Mathilde Scroll
. Her adherence to the tradition of embroidery technique, coupled with her bold colors and creative imagery, culminated in masterfully crafted modernist designs as she continued to experiment with found fabrics and embroidery. Peri left Paris for New York where she continued working with found textile appliqué. She participated in a number of gallery exhibitions and in 1949 exhibited her “Fabric Forms” at the Philadelphia Art Alliance and the Detroit Institute of Art. During the late 1950s and early 1960s Peri traveled to Switzerland, Belgium, England, Paris, Basil, Dover, and Rome where she continued collecting textiles for her compositions. In 1964 she moved to Philadelphia where she lived until her death in 1966.
wife of Alfonso Umaña Mendez
influenced by Henri Matisse
influenced by Zeual Higley Gurnsey
Citation of Merit, American Institute of Decorators, New York, NY, USA (1951)