Joan Mitchell

Klaus Kertess, 1997
Publisher: Harry N. Abrams
Joan Mitchell (1926-1992) was one of the most distinguished artists to be associated with the Abstract Expressionist movement. Winning a place for herself in the heavily male-dominated New York art world of the 1950s, she soon achieved recognition as a leading exponent of the gestural style. Yet her work is not as widely appreciated in the United States as it deserves to be, in part because she chose to live in France during the later decades of her life.
This volume is the first comprehensive presentation of Mitchell's work since her death. In her will, she directed that a longtime friend, Klaus Kertess, write the accompanying text. Kertess provides a richly textured account of Mitchell's life and work, tracing her evolution from her earliest efforts as a young artist in Chicago and her arrival in New York in the 1940s. He gives special attention to the array of gifted painters and poets in the legendary New York art scene of the 1950s, when Mitchell first made her mark, and discusses at length Mitchell's friendships with artists such as Willem de Kooning and Franz Kline and writers such as Frank O'Hara.