Amaranth Ehrenhalt

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About Amaranth Ehrenhalt

A Letter to the Editor

To the editor:

John Ashbery will always have a place in my heart because of an article he wrote in the '60's in Paris, which I cherish. I am a painter, and in 1962 was included in an international exhibition there. John was the art critic at the International Herald Tribune and covered the exhibition. (October 3, 1962). In his review he wrote, "A key figure among these 31 artists from 14 countries might be the American Ehrenhalt."

He described a painting of mine called "Jump in and Move Around," {photo below} citing it as "both an example of New York School abstraction (lush colors, fluent brushwork, bustling composition) and an attempt at a new, possibly eerie, form of figuration."

Several weeks later, I met him at an opening, and I said “John, I’m so pleased to meet you because I appreciate what you wrote about me," and he said, "Oh, did I write about you?" And I said, "Yes," and he said, "What’s your name?" I said, "Amaranth Ehrenhalt." "Oh," he said, "I thought you were a man."

Jump In And Move Around

Amaranth's new book, Jump In And Move Around: A Life In Art, is now available!

Artist Statement

Some are born with a silver spoon in their mouth;
I arrived with a paint brush in my hand and have painted steadily since the age of four. My work is abstract expressionist. "Unexpected" and "radiating energy" are often used to describe my art. I try to create that which does not sleep, but rather looks like it is constantly in motion: dancing, vibrating, gyrating, shimmering, stretching, jumping. My paintings often follow in series. There is a persistent idea that keeps me frustrated until I paint it. Then the theme begins to change and suggests to me new concepts for another series. In so much as they fulfill my expectations, my painting attempts to stimulate the viewer: to excite, to relax, to entice, to seduce, to pleasure. Like a favorite piece of music, art should enrich one’s life.

I think that I can teach anyone how to paint or draw, even if I do not speak the same language, although I am fluent in several. But, I can not teach anyone how to be an artist. I think one is born that way, just like Maria Callas was born with a magnificent voice, or one is born with green eyes or red hair. Then it takes WORK and YEARS to develop the talent.

Joan Mitchell once asked me, in Paris, why I want to paint. I do not know if i "want to paint" or do not "want to paint". It is just something that I do- like breathing and moving, walking and talking. I can not imagine my life without it. The first thing I do in the morning, is look at the painting I am currently working on. The last thing I do in the evening is look at the identical painting. I like to live and work in the same place so that I have immediate access to my work.

People often ask me how long it took to do a painting? Should I include the time when I wake up at 4 am with an idea for a new series? It is not like a 9 to 5 job which I can turn off when I leave the work site. The ideas are constantly imposing themselves upon my brain. Where do they come from? Millions of words will not be able to tell us. I consider it a gift for which I am forever thankful.

Amaranth Roslyn Ehrenhalt




Are you the collector of a work by Amaranth Ehrenhalt?

Amaranth is beginning work on an exciting and monumental project! Our goal is to compile a Catalogue raisonné -- a document that aims to serve as a record of every piece Amaranth has ever created. It's a huge undertaking, and we need your help!

If you have one (or more!) of Amaranth's works, in any medium, please get in touch at We'll let you know what information we need from you in order to properly include your piece in Amaranth's archive. We'd love to hear from you!

Amaranth Ehrenhalt