It's been a while since we lasted the National Gallery of Art. During this visit, we are focusing on a single painting.
During Year 2, we blogged about a friend introducing us to Joan Mitchell (1925-1992) . Mitchell was an American abstract expressionist painter. Together with Lee Krasner and a few others, "she was one of her era's few female painters to gain critical and public acclaim."
|Joan Mitchell in 1984|
Here is a short bio from JoanMitchellFoundation.org: "Joan Mitchell was born in Chicago in 1925. After graduating from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1947, she was awarded a James Nelson Raymond Foreign Traveling Fellowship, which took her to France for a year in 1948-49, and it was there that her paintings moved toward abstraction. Returning to New York, she participated in the famous “9th Street Show” in 1951, and soon established a reputation as one of the leading younger American Abstract Expressionist painters. She exhibited regularly in New York throughout the next four decades and maintained close friendships with many New York School painters and poets."
The painting (a tetraptych-four side-by-side canvases) measures a whopping 9' tall by 23' long. The painting is so large that we used a panorama shot to photograph it. Hence, the painting appears distorted. Of course, the painting is rectangular, not curved. Below is a better photo of Salut Tom.
|. © Estate of Joan Mitchell|
According to Corcoran.org, the "inspiration for Salut Tom, one of Mitchell’s largest and most important paintings, is the view of the river Seine from her estate in Vétheuil, France. Motivated as much by her recollection of the landscape as by the actual panorama, Mitchell depicted the scene many times, merging factual depictions of her subject with abstract ruminations."
The painting sort of looks like a river. Doesn't it? Below is a photo of the Seine near Vétheuil.
Recently, Artsy published an article about Joan Mitchell, titled "Joan Mitchell on How to Be an Artist". The article is an interesting read. One quote in particular caught Greg's attention: "[W]hen I do paint, I am not aware of myself. As I said before, I am ‘no hands,’ the painting is telling me what to do.”
We enjoy viewing Joan Micthell's paintings. We hope to see more during the 10 Year Plan and to learn about other artists.
P.S. Another painting depicting the Seine near Vétheuil appears below. Enjoy.
|Arm of the Seine near Vétheuil by Claude Monet (1878)|