The First Art Newspaper on the Net Established in 1996 United States Thursday, October 23, 2014


Painter Joan Mitchell Finally Gets Her Due in New Alfred A. Knopf Book by Patricia Albers
"Joan Mitchell: Lady Painter A Life," by Patricia Albers. AP Photo/Alfred A. Knopf.

By: Ann Levin, Associated Press

NEW YORK, NY (AP).- "Joan Mitchell, Lady Painter: A Life" (Alfred A. Knopf), by Patricia Albers: At age 12, Joan Mitchell decided to be a painter. She had shown a flair for writing and for painting, but her father made her choose between the two, warning against being a dilettante.

He needn't have worried — Joan turned out to be as driven as he was. When Mitchell died in 1992 at age 67, her paintings sold for millions and belonged to major art museums. But her fame came at a terrible price.

A lifelong alcoholic, Mitchell was a nasty drunk, brawling with lovers until she was black and blue. Reckless, promiscuous and self-destructive, she wanted children yet had several abortions because she believed motherhood was incompatible with a career.

Art historian Patricia Albers, who spent eight years on this densely packed, excellent biography, offers a largely sympathetic portrait of Mitchell, uncovering ample evidence of her warmth and generosity and tracing her outrageous behavior to a variety of unresolved psychological issues.

Born in Chicago, Mitchell grew up in a wealthy family. A championship figure skater as a teen, she went on to study at Smith College and the Art Institute of Chicago, where she was a star pupil.

In 1949, she moved to New York with her former husband, Barney Rosset Jr., who later founded the legendary Grove Press, at Joan's suggestion. They arrived just when a group of downtown artists, later called the New York School, was about to set the world on fire. Mitchell fell under the spell of Willem de Kooning and Franz Kline, whose bold, large-scale abstractions liberated her from her academic training.

Sometimes called a second-generation abstract expressionist, Mitchell defies such labeling. Although she borrowed their gestures and techniques, her paintings capture remembered landscapes and emotions, not the artist's inner world. Nor did she emulate the random effects of an artist like Jackson Pollock; every brushstroke was intentional.

Although Mitchell never created a movement, she stands out for her striking use of color. Like one of her idols, Wassily Kandinsky, she was a synesthete, perceiving color in other sensory perceptions. People, weather, landscapes, memories — all throbbed with the intensity of the palette of another hero, Vincent van Gogh.

Fiercely competitive from an early age, Mitchell waged a lifelong battle against sexism. Even her father — who badly wanted a John, not a Joan — told her she'd never amount to much because of her gender. Thus her ironic references to herself as "lady painter," a sly put-down she used knowing full well that her art deserved to hang alongside that of her more celebrated male contemporaries.


Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.





Today's News

May 3, 2011

Metropolitan Museum of Art Captures Alexander McQueen's Vision of Imperfect Beauty

Sotheby's Presents Its Spring London Sale of Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art

The Villa Schoningen Presents a Selection of Early Works by Andy Warhol

Hollywood, Fashion Elite Recall Alexander McQueen at Metropolitan's Gala

Collection of Hard Rock Cafe Memorabilia to Tour the United States in Big Rig Truck

Major Works by Renoir and Lievens Bought by Visitor to TEFAF Maastricht 2011

More than 1,000 Year-Old Archaeological Pieces from Palenque Studied and Restored

Yardbirds Guitarist Chris Dreja to Display Historical Photographs at ZepFest, Memorial Day

Painter Joan Mitchell Finally Gets Her Due in New Alfred A. Knopf Book by Patricia Albers

Curator Peter Galassi to Retire From the Museum of Modern Art After 30 Years

Artists Paint Over One Thousand Stark Portraits of Chinese Corrupt and Disgraced Officials

Alyson Baker Named Ninth Director of Connecticut's Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum

Street Art Exhibition at Museum of Contemporary Art Prompts Praise and Concern

Yad Vashem National Holocaust Memorial Starts Collecting Holocaust Items

First Comparative Exhibition of Chaim Soutine and Francis Bacon at Helly Nahmad Gallery

Robust Sales, Attendance at Japanese Art Exhibitions During Asia Week New York 2011

Leigh Anne Lester Wins 2011 Hunting Art Prize

New Orleans, Haiti Share Cultural History at Fest

Anthropology Department Receives $1 Million Gift for Mountain Archaeology Fund

Auction Houses Christie's and Sotheby's Gear Up for New York Art Sales

Study by Paleontologists Says Ancient Pre-Human 'Nutcracker Man' Really Ate Grass

Computer Science and Biology Come Together to Make Tree Identification a Snap

Colonial Williamsburg Showcases Maps and Prints

Zoe Ryan Named Art Institute Chair and John H. Bryan Curator of Architecture and Design

Thomas Schwartz Named New Director of Hoover Library

Most Popular Last Seven Days



1.- Image of a Christ without a beard, short hair and wearing a toga unearthed in Spain

2.- Giant mosaic unearthed in mysterious tomb in Amphipolis in northern Macedonia

3.- Bonhams sale of 18th century French decorative arts to benefit Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco

4.- Paris flustered by erection of 'sex-toy' sculpture; Paul McCarthy slapped by a passer-by

5.- High art or vile pornography? Marquis de Sade explored in Orsay museum exhibition

6.- 'Cubism: The Leonard A. Lauder Collection' opens at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

7.- Greek culture minister says Elgin Marbles return a matter of 'global heritage'

8.- Vandals deflate Paris 'sex-toy' sculpture by American artist Paul McCarthy after outrage

9.- Exhibition at National Gallery in London explores Rembrandt's final years of painting

10.- 'Hans Memling: A Flemish Renaissance' opens at the Scuderie del Quirinale in Rome



Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .

 

Founder:
Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez - Marketing: Carla Gutiérrez
Special Contributor: Liz Gangemi - Special Advisor: Carlos Amador
Contributing Editor: Carolina Farias

Royalville Communications, Inc
produces:

ignaciovillarreal.org theavemaria.org juncodelavega.org facundocabral-elfinal.org
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
Hommage
to a Mexican poet.
Hommage
       

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site