OCTOBER 27, ON THIS DAY
One could go on forever as to whether the paint should be thick or thin, whether to paint the woman or the square, hard-edge or soft, but after a while such questions become a bore. They are merely problems in aesthetics, having only to do with the outer man. But the painting I have in mind, painting in which inner and outer are inseparable, transcends technique, transcends subjects and moves into the realm of the inevitable.
Lee Krasner was a prominent artist who had an immense contribution during the rise of the ‘Abstract Expressionism Movement’. Over time, Krasner became a significant part of this movement by synthesizing the abstract form and psychological content. There have been various abstract and expressive works of Lee Krasner in the form of painting, charcoal drawing, collage painting and mosaics. In her early career, she was greatly impressed and had an intense knowledge of cubism which she learned from Hofmann. In the early 1940s, she was deeply affected by seeing Pollock’s abstract work and gradually evolved as an abstract painter. The philosophical thinking behind her work was closely related to her personal experiences.
Lee Krasner was born to Russian immigrants Joseph and Anna Krasner on October 27, 1908, in Brooklyn, New York. She had already demonstrated a great affinity for the arts by the time she graduated from a public primary school in 1922. She completed the majority of her secondary school at Washington Irving High School in Manhattan, where she specialized in painting for three years. From 1926 to 1929, Krasner studied at the Women\’s Art School in Cooper Union before spending a brief time at the Art Student\’s League. From 1929 until 1932, Krasner continued to work at the National Academy of Design, where she first discovered and was profoundly impacted by the School of Paris during her visits to the recently opened Museum of Modern Art.
Krasner created some of her most engaging series while residing with Pollock in their house close to The Springs, Long Island, including her Little Image paintings. These paintings are regarded as some of her most significant contributions to Abstract Expressionism and are characterised by thick impasto and repeating abstract motifs. “Happy Lady”, “Through Blue”, “Mister Blue”, “Siren”, “Portrait in Green”, “Polar Stampede”, and “The Assault on the Solar Plexus” are some of her well-known works.
Krasner devoted the remainder of her life to preserving Pollock\’s legacy when the artist passed away in a car accident in 1956, while still pursuing her own artistic ambitions. Krasner created her signature Umber Paintings during this period of newly discovered seclusion. These works have a special rawness and intensity that had never before been seen in her body of work. This series is said to be among Krasner\’s most psychoanalytically evocative work. It is fiercely built of abstract forms using explosive brushwork in a pared-down palette that predominantly consists of umber, cream, and white.
Generations of painters have been inspired by Krasner\’s work and life story, and she is especially admired among female artists. She battled within the Abstract Expressionist movement, which valued masculinity and inspirational artists like Jackson Pollock, and directly faced the prevalent misconception that \”women can\’t paint\” over the course of her career. Krasner had an impact on other artists, especially those from future generations, via her stylistic and artistic breakthroughs, her example of persistence, and her ultimate success. She supported feminist artist Miriam Schapiro\’s femmage works in the 1960s with her large-scale, vividly coloured pieces. The Pollock-Krasner Foundation, which aims to aid in the growth of fine artists, was created following Krasner\’s passing as a result of her generosity.
Lee Krasner’s stirring work and charismatic personality could have made her a superstar of the Abstract Expressionist generation. Yet for years she was better known as Jackson Pollock’s wife, her art ignored and her story mistold.