Chicago 1925 - 1992 Paris
Joan Mitchell was one of the most extraordinary female proponents of American Abstract Expressionism. After having moved to New York in 1950, she rapidly became established side by side her male colleagues such as Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning and Franz Kline in the avant-garde art scene of the ‘New York School’. With its brisk vividness, her painting of the 1950s resembles the modern New York jazz that developed during the same period. The motif of Mitchell's paintings is always life itself in its timeless and purest forms: as movement, change, reaction and action. She also endeavoured to express a feeling of nature in her pictures. In her words: "I paint from remembered landscapes that I carry with me - and remembered feelings of them." Thus, on the one hand, her paintings display dynamic movement and a flurry of activity, but on the other hand, more sedated structures bear witness to inner emotions. Mitchell's highly gestural, abstract compositions unite intense colours with sensuous perfection, thus building a bridge between American and European art, like the artist herself, who regularly commuted from New York to Paris. Her transformations of sensed landscapes pick up the threads of European Romanticism and Classic Modernism and combine them with the vigorous style of American Abstract Expressionism.