Joan Mitchell – Painter

“Abstract is not a style. I simply want to make a surface work. This is just a use of space and form: it’s an ambivalence of forms and space.”

Joan Mitchell is an American Painter and Print Maker and was said to be one of the last bstract impressionists. Working at the same time as artists such as Jackson Pollock, Willem De Cooning and Franz Kline where she was part of the second abstract impressionist movement. Whilst working in New York in the 1950’s she became part of the Eighth Street Club – which was was also known as the impressionist circle. This was a predominantly male club as Mitchell was also one of the very few female artists that gained public recognition for her work.  Other female artists that were working around the same time as Mitchell were Lee KrasnerGrace HartiganHelen FrankenthalerShirley JaffeElaine de Kooning, and Sonia Gechtoff.

Mitchell had synesthesia and would play music and read poetry in her studio. She would use sound as a source for evoking colour in her work. He large scale abstract paintings are full of colour, richness and texture where the use of large gestures and brush strokes are a response to music.

Joan Mitchell is one of my favourite painters. I first saw her work at the abstract impressionism exhibition at the Royal Academy. Her work really stood out to me not just because of how much I connected to it but also because she was the only female artist in that exhibition.




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