That said, this book is an enjoyable read and very informative about an artist who probably didn't receive her full due in her lifetime. It means the book is honest. If you are not yet acquainted with her life or her work as I was not , be prepared to loath its protagonist; Ms. For her, though, it is not the rational presence within their brown breasts, the Fibonacci spiral pattern which gives mute evidence of intentional structure that moves her - it is their temporality, their fierce and ragged glorious strength. The author argues that she was a true full-blown synesthete, and experienced words, people, emotions, places, and memories directly as colors: there's a lot of evidence for this, although Joan never seems to have known that synesthesia is a well-documented although rare condition, and spent much of her life fearing she was insane. No one can deny the talent behind this thorough biography. Also, she was an Abstract Expressionist painter in an overwhelmingly testosterone fueled New York arts scene.
Lane April 18, 2013 ,. As always with artist bios, seeing the work described is very important and frustrating if it isn't available. You start to really dislike her in the book and then somehow it comes around and I found myself respecting her and feeling afraid for people at dinner parties where she was. Had Joan imbibed less scotch and smoked fewer Gaulloises she may have lived longer. Her River cycle is emblematic of this period. At one point, I thought I would likely not finish it.
She was a daughter of the American Revolution—Anglo-Saxon, Republican, Episcopalian. Her paintings are expansive, often covering multiple panels. She does a lot less well at giving any hint as to why the woman didn't kill herself in existential crisis. Plop this neuro-different, extremely talented, driven artist into the macho, male-dominated world of art in the 1940's, 50's, 60's. Reason had to fall to the wayside. In that case I value the artist, not so much the art. Love the art, but Mitchell the artist, not so much.
I might talk to one of my dogs. Perhaps it was the toxic combination of professional and sexual back-stabbing that did everyone in. But now let us speak of the sunflowers. Success in sports, a coveted education, marriage to a man who loved her, and family wealth that permitted her to pursue her passion were not enough. Oh yes the author loves Joan. In her early years as a painter, she was influenced by , , , , and later by the work of and , , among others. My friends and I wanted role models.
I did not know that he had been Joan Mitchell's partner for such a long period. Mitchell's gloriously variegated brushstrokes push and tug and shimmer and float, like the edges of planes jostling in a shallow space or foliage lifted and twirled by a breeze, kissing the light, then heaving away. It's one of the few grim experiences mentioned in the biography that Albers doesn't explore. Joan Mitchell: Leaving America, New York to Paris, 1958—1964. Bibliography All web sites accessed as of date of publication. One begins to appreciate the prickliness. He was seriously working on a bottle of bourbon, and she a bottle of scotch.
Others pop from the picture plane, thanks in part to the painter's astute use of red-green and blue-ochre polarities. In the end, I'm glad I read it, but I suspect many would not share my interest. As a young girl she was a champion figure skater, and though she lacked balance and coordination, accomplished one athletic triumph after another, until giving up competitive skating to become a painter. What a mess she made of her life: a brilliant, ambitious, hardworking painter who poisoned herself with booze, tirades, jealousy, awful taste in men, infidelities, and stupid professional mishaps. Reason had to fall by the wayside.
Albers mentions but does not illustrate the few paintings that Mitchell made while in France, which were apparently semi-abstractions depicting subjects from everyday French life, from a bicycle race to a game of boule to a Provencal landscape. Another significant breakthrough for Joan in New York was her exhibition at the New Gallery above the Oak Room Restaurant in the Algonquin Hotel, which received good reviews. Interesting that Mitchell's grandfather was an engineer who built bridges, including the original Van Buren Street drawbridge in Chicago. Mitchell studied at in Massachusetts and , where she earned her in 1947 and her in 1950. In fact is is a riveting account of a remarkable artist. She has also curated numerous exhibitions and written catalog essays and art reviews for publications including the New York Times, the San José Mercury News, and squarecylinder. When she describes Mitchell's work she tends to be brief and to swoon and rely on clichés of art appreciation.
She was tough, disciplined, courageous, dazzling, and went up against the masculine art world at its most entrenched, made her way in it, and disproved their notion that women couldn't paint. And he said, 'Anything I can do for you? It's not easy or fun being around an alcoholic in my experience. But oh do I love her paintings. Nonetheless, Mitchell judged herself harshly. And she let it be known.