Sonia Gechtoff (b. 1926, Philadelphia, PA, d. 2018, New York, NY) was an influential Ukrainian-American painter who began her career in Beat-era San Francisco but worked most of her life in New York.
Gechtoff found extraordinary success early in her career, staging solo exhibitions at the San Francisco Museum of Art (now SFMoMA) and the De Young Museum. She was included in the landmark 1954 group exhibition Younger American Painters at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York and participated in the 1961 São Paulo Bienial in an exhibition organized by MoMA which included American artists such as Robert Motherwell, Lee Bontecou, Ellsworth Kelly, John Chamberlain, and Richard Diebenkorn. During her lifetime, Gechtoff exhibited at prestigious galleries such as the Ferus Gallery in Los Angeles, where she staged the inaugural solo show, as well as the Poindexter, Gruenebaum, and Kraushaar Galleries in New York.
In 2016, Gechtoff was included in the landmark exhibition Women of Abstract Expressionism, at the Denver Art Museum, which subsequently traveled to the Mint Museum, Charlotte, North Carolina and the Palm Springs Art Museum, Palm Springs, California. Gechtoff’s work has been included in other recent group exhibitions at the Albertina Modern, Vienna, Austria (2022); Anita Shapolsky Gallery, New York (2018), and the San Jose Museum of Art, California (2014), among others.
Gechtoff was a recipient of the Lee Krasner Lifetime Achievement Award and numerous Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grants. Her work has been widely collected by institutions including the Baltimore Museum of Art, Maryland; Legion of Honor, San Francisco; Denver Art Museum, Colorado; The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Museum of Modern Art, New York; National Academy of Design, New York; Oakland Museum of Art, California; San Francisco; Museum of Modern Art, California; Museum of Art, Stanford University, Palo Alto, California; Worcester Museum of Art, Massachusetts; San Jose Museum of Art, California; and The Library of Congress, Washington, D.C., among others.