Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Did You Know :: Joan Mitchell

Joan Mitchell:
• Born February 12, 1925, in Chicago, Illinois.
• Considered a “second generation” Abstract Expressionist, along with Lee Krasner and Helen Frankenthaler.
• Studied at Smith College, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Columbia University, and in the studio of Hans Hofmann (as did Lee Krasner). However, despite her interest in Hofmann’s teaching, she was put off by his brusque manner, which included such practices as erasing and re-drawing students’ drawings while they worked.
• Influenced by Claude Monet, Vincent van Gogh, Paul Cézanne, and Henri Matisse. In fact, much of her career was spent living in France, and for a time in a house and studio adjacent to where Monet himself painted in Giverny.
• Married briefly to Barney Rosset, an American publisher, before beginning a long and tumultuous relationship with Jean-Paul Riopelle, an Abstract Expressionist painter and sculptor from Quebec.
• Split her time between New York City, the heart of the American-born Abstract Expressionist movement, and France.
• Included landscapes and bridges as common abstracted elements in her paintings, reflecting her interest in the beautiful French landscapes she loved, and the Brooklyn Bridge, below which her American studio and home was located.
• Worked in extremely large scale—and multi-panel paintings became very common in her work, all of which relied on stylistic elements that included the use of long, curvilinear strokes and broad stains of color, often on unprimed canvas.
• Died in 1992, leaving in her estate support for future artists through the Joan Mitchell Foundation, which awarded Reno artist Michael Sarich an “emerging artist” award in 2008.