Lee Krasner: American Abstract Painter, Wife of Jackson Pollock
Lee Krasner - Artist Bio and Information Kasmin Gallery is committed to and integrated herself into contemporary circles that included Jackson Pollock, artist already before she met Pollock, Krasner's relationship with the talented, yet . Series 1: Jackson Pollock papers and Lee Krasner papers about Jackson .. which discusses his career, personal life, and their relationship. Lee Krasner (): Biography of Abstract Expressionist Artist: In she met Jackson Pollock () and soon began a tumultuous relationship.
There, she nailed a mirror to a tree and painted what she saw. Krasner saw herself in nature. Surrounded by trees, she stands tall in her s self-portrait, with her red hair pushed behind her ears and paintbrushes held firmly in hand.
She appears serious, determined. Art historian Barbara Rose comments on the self-portrait: She would submit to any discipline deemed necessary to achieve her goals of acquiring the techniques and skills necessary to produce great art, but she would do it in her own way and on her own terms. The project employed artists to teach art, illustrate textbooks, and create paintings, sculpture, mosaics, and stained glass decorations for public buildings.
Krasner held various positions for the project, from illustrating a marine biology textbook to executing murals for public buildings. Inwhile employed by the WPA, Krasner sought to continue her artistic training by enrolling in classes with the German expressionist Hans Hofmann.
Krasner held a passion for modern art, which she nourished through visits to galleries and museums. Hofmann taught her to feed herself. She embarked upon a string of group exhibitions in the early s with the American Abstract Artists group. In addition, for the first time, Krasner met a sober Jackson Pollock.
Technically, Krasner and Pollock had met previously at an Artist Union loft party inwhen he made a drunken pass at her. They shared an intense passion for, and commitment to, art.
Painting to die for - Telegraph
However, that is where their similarities end. A fiercely independent and determined woman, Krasner served as the rock that held Pollock, a troubled alcoholic, afloat.
By this time, Krasner had ceased to affiliate herself with Judaism. However, she retained an interest in spirituality throughout her life, which manifests itself in her art.
She sought to create a safe, serene environment for Pollock in the country where, she felt, he would be less tempted by the urban bars and parties that invite drunkenness. She organized meetings with dealers, dinners with critics, and sales to galleries. Exhausted by his antics and horrified by his recent public pursuit of adulterous affairs, Krasner decided to travel to Europe in the summer of For the first time since their marriage, Krasner and Pollock were separated.
While she was gone, Pollock, driving drunk, crashed his automobile in the front yard of their farm and died on August 11, As Barbara Rose attests, a Krasner painting defies compartmentalization. Like nature, its essence, color, and rhythm prove organic. Her early work, pre, challenges the perceived physical and mental boundaries of a canvas, using vehicles as varied as mosaic, collage, and image painting. The Little Image series emerged from this period.
Several of these allover abstract pattern paintings include calligraphic elements that resemble Hebrew. Krasner recalls painting these images from right to left, just as she was taught to read Hebrew as a little girl.
InKrasner received her first retrospective in London at the Whitechapel Gallery. Following an extended illness, Lee Krasner died on June 20,at age seventy-six. The first New York retrospective of her work opened at the Museum of Modern Art six months after her death—a long overdue tribute to a pioneer of American abstract art.
She spent most of her secondary education at Washington Irving High School in Manhattan, where she devoted three years to a major in art. From to she continued working at the National Academy of Design where, upon her first trips to the newly established Museum of Modern ArtKrasner encountered and was deeply influenced by the School of Paris. It was then that she had the good fortune to meet such subsequently important figures in the New York art world as Parker Tyler, Harold Rosenberg, and Lionel Abel, all of them conversant with the problems of European modernism.
Lee Krasner | Jewish Women's Archive
With these experiences behind her, she found brief employment with the Public Works Administration project in first of the New Deal art projects and with the Temporary Emergency Relief Administration.
Based on her concern for the problems of art and politics, Krasner began attending the meetings of the Artists' Union as early as and by had become a member of the organization's executive committee. Employed off and on as part of the WPA project throughshe found time from to to study with the widely known painter Hans Hofmann. During the same period she came to know the critic Clement Greenberg who, along with Rosenberg, rose to prominence in the s and s.
Throughout the s Krasner explored and assimilated a variety of modern idioms and internationalized her art attitudes. She began to exhibit in with the American Abstract Artists group, an important organization of American artists, famous for their reactions against social realism, regionalism, and other brands of aesthetic conservatism.
By Krasner was painting full-time. The extent of her early success can be measured by her inclusion in the group exhibition "Challenge to the Critics" organized by Howard Putzel at his newly opened gallery in New York.
Following the so-called "Grey Paintings" of this period, Krasner began producing the famous "Little Image" paintings from toworks highly graphic in their notation and frequently characterized by her critics as "hieroglyphic. It was during this period that critics began to recognize her as a major contributor to the new American painting. Krasner's work was characterized by shallow space, a legacy of Cubism, reductive color, and an insistent concern with progress.
Her position was fundamentally anti-formal and anti-ideological. Krasner's collage work can be dated froma period during which she began to extensively rework her earlier painting, a recycling process she continued to exploit throughout her life.
In she exhibited in her first group show composed of all women artists, and the following year held her first one-person exhibition of collages at the Stable Gallery.