Collector’s Choice: Joan Mitchell


joan-mitchell-1

Joan Mitchell The Last Paintings

3 February – 28 April 2012, Hauser & Wirth London, Piccadilly

‘My paintings aren’t about art issues. They’re about a feeling that comes to me from the outside, from landscape. … Paintings aren’t about the person who makes them, either. My paintings have to do with feelings’.

– Joan Mitchell, 1974

 

 

mitch51160-z7b76t

 

Hauser & Wirth is proud to present an exhibition of late paintings by American Abstract Expressionist, Joan Mitchell. Created during the last decade of her life, these large-scale canvasses mark a distinct departure from her more sombre works of the early 1960s. Her late paintings, dating from 1985 to 1992, are replete with vibrant colours, energy and excitement, combining Mitchell’s admiration of the work of Van Gogh and Monet, her interest in nature and her adept skill at expressing emotions and memories.

 

mitch51196_m-0oy37j

 

 

Mitchell was born in Chicago and in 1950 moved to New York where she was one of the few female artists to participate in seminal exhibitions alongside prominent Abstract Expressionists such as Willem de Kooning, Jackson Pollock and Franz Kline. In 1959, Mitchell relocated to France. She stayed in Paris for eight years before she moved to Vétheuil where she remained for the last 25 years of her life, producing dynamic paintings despite such momentous events as the loss of close family, friends and her long battle with cancer that took her life in 1992.

 

 

MITCHiv Wall 1 014
MITCHiv Wall 1 014

 

Like many of the Impressionists and Post-Impressionists, Mitchell was fascinated by the French countryside and the lush landscape of Vétheuil featured prominently in her late paintings. In the diptych ‘River’, a painting of the River Seine as seen from her home, Mitchell filled two canvasses with vigorous brushstrokes in an array of greens, blues, purples, reds and a swath of yellow paint crossing the bottom of the canvas to represent the river. In ‘Sunflowers’, Mitchell again used a diptych format to depict one of her most well known subjects in the twilight of its life. In a conversation with Yves Michaud, Mitchell once said, ‘Sunflowers are something I feel very intensely. They look so wonderful when young and they are so moving when they are dying…’. With ‘Sunflowers’, Mitchell worked quickly across her canvasses, expressing her intense feeling through the intense gestures that form the unrestrained and multi-coloured flowers’ blooms. Pushing the boundaries of abstract painting, both ‘River’ and ‘Sunflowers’ illustrate Mitchell’s emotional and physical recollections of the countryside she loved.

 

mitch51163_m-jelqlq

 

The exhibition also features Mitchell’s late, purely abstract paintings. These works range in format including single canvases, diptychs and tondos. The works display a radical and free use of colour and line, as well as a confident experimentation with composition, scale and physical structure. Each painting showcases Mitchell’s mature artistic style that, over a prolific period of three decades, had fully developed into a unique personal language of colour, line and form. Together, these late paintings demonstrate what Richard Marshall describes in the exhibition’s accompanying catalogue as the artist’s ‘pure joy of putting paint to canvas’.

 

mitch41652-sunflowers-vywavh

 

‘Joan Mitchell. The Last Paintings’ was organised in collaboration with Cheim & Read, New York and the Joan Mitchell Foundation.

 

MITCHiv Wall 1 002
MITCHiv Wall 1 002

 

mitchiv5hwl_0212_adf_a41-i01yde

 

 

Click here to see a great video about Joan Mitchell’s Last Years and Her Painting

MITCHiv Wall 1 007
MITCHiv Wall 1 007

 

 

 

 

Thanks so much for coming to my blog today. Please share your thoughts and feelings here on this page. And subscribe to Kirsteinfineart  by going to the subscribe button on the right side of this page.

 

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s