Joan Mitchell: I carry my landscapes around with me
Texts by Suzanne Hudson and Robert Slifkin
From the publisher:
"'Gee, Joan, if only you were French and male and dead,' said a New York art dealer to Joan Mitchell in the 1950s. She was a steel heiress from the Midwest (her grandfather built Chicago's bridges and worked for Andrew Carnegie). She was a daughter of the American Revolution—Anglo-Saxon, Republican, Episcopalian. She was tough, disciplined, courageous, dazzling, and went up against the masculine art world at its most entrenched, made her way in it, and disproved their notion that women couldn't paint.
This is the first full-scale biography of the abstract expressionist painter who came of age in the 1950s, '60s, and '70s. Biographer Patricia Albers reconstructs the painter's large, impassioned, messy, reckless life: her growing prominence as an artist, her marriage and affairs, her friendships with poets and painters, her extraordinary work."
Alfred A. Knopf
She did have a near-mystical feeling for paint. Squeezed by the class she was taking at NYU (Painting of the Early Middle Ages), three weekly sessions with Fried, and a chockablock social life, Joan nonetheless painted hard all that fall. Loading her brushes with blacks, whites, ochres, blues, and reds, she was producing muscular, jostling canvases rife with ambiguities, complexities, and urban tensions, using Hofmannesque push and pull. By the first of the year, Joan had what she considered sixteen decent paintings, fifteen of them squarish and around six by seven feet, and one, Cross Section of a Bridge, six and a half by nearly ten feet. In early January these went to the New Gallery, where they were installed by consultant Leo Castelli.”