Tuesday, November 8, 2016

1926-1992: Joan Mitchell, American

Photo from Internet
Joan Mitchell was a prominent Abstract Expressionist in the second generation of artists to work in that movement.

Joan differed from other members of this New York-based group by moving to Paris, after she had established her reputation. She continued to participate in the New York art scene, but her studio was in a suburb of Paris, and she produced most of her famous works there.

Background: She was born to a wealthy family in Chicago, attended a progressive, private school, and was educated in literature and art by her mother, who was the co-editor of a poetry magazine. Her father was a dermatologist and an amateur artist.

Training: After studying English literature for a couple of years, Joan earned both a B.F.A. and M.F.A. from the Art Institute in Chicago.

Career: From 1950 to 1955 she had a studio in New York, where she was quickly accepted by the in-group of Abstract Expressionist painters.

Her large, abstract canvases are related to landscapes, and their appeal is said to lie in the expressiveness of the individual marks of paint, some brushed, others dabbled or dripped.

In 1955 she moved to France. She continued to paint in the New York mode and to show in exhibits there.
 
Private life: At 23 she married a publisher; the stormy union lasted only a year.

In 1955, when she was 29, she moved to France to join her lover, a Canadian painter named Jean-Paul Riopelle. He was Canada's foremost abstractionist and internationally famous as well.  Joan and Paul she had a long and tumultuous relationship; they maintained separate homes and studios, but it is said that they dined and drank together daily.

Here's a sample of his work.

Jean-Paul Riopelle
Untitled, 1951
Private collection / Internet
Joan began to have serious health problems in the 1980s, but she continued to paint through a decade of cancer treatments. She was 66 when she died in Paris.

Our photos of Joan's work:


Untitled, 1953
Crystal Bridges / Jan's photo


East Ninth Street, 1956
LACMA / Jan's photo

Hemlock, 1956
Whitney / Jan's photo

George Went Swimming at Banes Hole, but it Got Too Cold, 1957
Albright-Knox / Jan's photo

August, Rue de Guerre, 1957
Phillips
Photo by Dan L. Smith, 2006

Untitled, 1960
Milwaukee
Photo by Dan L. Smith, 2013


Untitled, 1960
Philadelphia / Jan's photo
Chamonix, c. 1962
MFA / Jan's photo


Blue Tree, 1964
Worcester / Jan's photo

Salut Torn, 1979
National Gallery, Corcoran Collection
Photo by Dan L. Smith, 2006


Wood, Wind, No Tuba, 1980
MOMA / Jan's photo

Before, Again IV, 1985
Anderson Collection / Jan's


Harm’s Way, 1987
SFMOMA / Jan's photo


Ici, 1992
St. Louis / Jan's photo