Joan Mitchell

Joan Mitchell

by Klaus Kertess, Harry N Abrams
     
 

Joan Mitchell (1926-1992) was one of the most distinguished artists to be associated with the Abstract Expressionist movement. Winning a place for herself in the heavily male-dominated New York art world of the 1950s, she soon achieved recognition as a leading exponent of the gestural style. Yet her work is not as widely appreciated in the United States as it deserves… See more details below

Overview

Joan Mitchell (1926-1992) was one of the most distinguished artists to be associated with the Abstract Expressionist movement. Winning a place for herself in the heavily male-dominated New York art world of the 1950s, she soon achieved recognition as a leading exponent of the gestural style. Yet her work is not as widely appreciated in the United States as it deserves to be, in part because she chose to live in France during the later decades of her life. This volume is the first comprehensive presentation of Mitchell's work since her death. In her will, she directed that a longtime friend, Klaus Kertess, write the accompanying text. Kertess provides a richly textured account of Mitchell's life and work, tracing her evolution from her earliest efforts as a young artist in Chicago and her arrival in New York in the 1940s. He gives special attention to the array of gifted painters and poets in the legendary New York art scene of the 1950s, when Mitchell first made her mark, and discusses at length Mitchell's friendships with artists such as Willem de Kooning and Franz Kline and writers such as Frank O'Hara.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Cahners\\Publishers_Weekly
Feisty and sharp-tongued, the American abstract painter Mitchell (1926-1992) could be her own worst enemy. Kertess, an adjunct curator for Drawings at New York's Whitney Museum and long-time friend, recalls that during drunken evenings at New York bars in the 1950s, she "might as easily shake a male's genital as his hand." Her personal life was as stormy as her painting could be. From a cultured, well-to-do Chicago family, she married Barney Rossett (of Grove Press fame) in 1949 only to leave him two years later. In 1957, after she had moved to France where she would stay until her death, she began a rocky 25-year relationship with Canadian abstract painter Jean-Paul Riopelle, who won more fame than Mitchell but achieved much less. At a time when women were not admitted to the inner circle of macho abstract painters, ignored in group exhibitions, Mitchell created fierce cathedrals of color, inspired by the countryside near V�theuil, France, not far from Monet's famous garden at Giverny. Typically, Mitchell said she had no use for Monet and much preferred Van Gogh. Even in reduced size, the 120 color reproductions are strikingly dramatic, with alternately dark, stormy clouds of paint raining watery streaks of pigment and frenetic brushstrokes of primary color. In one brilliantly colored series, "La Grande Vall�e," the painter foreshadows her own death after a lengthy battle with cancer. Mitchell's work would eventually prove that she was one of the greatest abstract painters of her generation, and the present book, patiently recounting her life and career in a non-judgmental fashion, is an important step toward the long-overdue recognition that she deserves.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Feisty and sharp-tongued, the American abstract painter Mitchell (1926-1992) could be her own worst enemy. Kertess, an adjunct curator for Drawings at New York's Whitney Museum and long-time friend, recalls that during drunken evenings at New York bars in the 1950s, she "might as easily shake a male's genital as his hand." Her personal life was as stormy as her painting could be. From a cultured, well-to-do Chicago family, she married Barney Rossett (of Grove Press fame) in 1949 only to leave him two years later. In 1957, after she had moved to France where she would stay until her death, she began a rocky 25-year relationship with Canadian abstract painter Jean-Paul Riopelle, who won more fame than Mitchell but achieved much less. At a time when women were not admitted to the inner circle of macho abstract painters, ignored in group exhibitions, Mitchell created fierce cathedrals of color, inspired by the countryside near Vtheuil, France, not far from Monet's famous garden at Giverny. Typically, Mitchell said she had no use for Monet and much preferred Van Gogh. Even in reduced size, the 120 color reproductions are strikingly dramatic, with alternately dark, stormy clouds of paint raining watery streaks of pigment and frenetic brushstrokes of primary color. In one brilliantly colored series, "La Grande Valle," the painter foreshadows her own death after a lengthy battle with cancer. Mitchell's work would eventually prove that she was one of the greatest abstract painters of her generation, and the present book, patiently recounting her life and career in a non-judgmental fashion, is an important step toward the long-overdue recognition that she deserves. (Apr.)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780810942974
Publisher:
Abrams, Harry N., Inc.
Publication date:
02/01/1997
Pages:
204
Product dimensions:
11.50(w) x 12.37(h) x 1.00(d)

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