Monday, November 22, 2010

Flowering Limb


Flowering Limb, 1963

Lee Krasner (1908-1984)
Paintings 1959-1965
Robert Miller Gallery

It is hard to look at Lee Krasner's paintings without the memory of the brilliant Oscar (best supporting actress) performance that Marcia Gay Hayden did in "Pollock" the Movie. I can just picture Lee Krasner being just like that.

Lee Krasner and Jackson Pollock

I therefore had to add a picture of the famous couple so I can focus on who she really was.

After the Storm, 1963

 (insert) After the Storm

I get terribly excited about the legendary women in art when I get to see them, sadly there are too few. But, let us at least appreciate the once we can find. I therefore on Thursday jumped at the occasion to go to the opening of one of the few female Abstract Expressionist's show at the Robert Miller Gallery in Chelsea.

This gorgeous large "After the Storm" painting is sort of an association to her terror of thunder as a child and Jackson Pollock's response to his drunken behavior "Think of it as a storm, it will pass."

 (Insert) Moontide, 1961

(Insert) Kufic, 1965

 During this period Lee Krasner was suffering from chronic insomnia, that resulted in these burnt umber, cream and white work.

"I realized that if I was going to work at night, I would have to knock color out altogether, because I wouldn't deal with color except in daylight."

(insert) Messenger, 1959

Seeded, 1960

Pollock's deadly car accident happened in 1956, so these paintings came after his time. Was her "Vigil" a result of this? Like a devotional watching over the dead. Probably, but I still like to see her independent from him. Although, she actually had an important influence on his career and legacy, he still is the one that people tend to remember.

 Vigil, 1960

With the Flowering Limb and the Bird Image Krasner turned back to nature for inspiration. After struggling with a broken wrist she found a way to use her fingertips, she made them move her left hand around in order to paint. These are probably my favorites from this series.

Bird Image, 1963

Marcia Tucker describes her in "A short life of trouble" after she put up a solo show for her in 1970, at the Whitney.

"When I finished placing the paintings, I called her and told her the show was ready for her to look at. She harrumphed and hung up. Twenty minutes later, there she was, wrapped in a fur coat, looking and acting like her Majesty the Queen. She sailed by me without saying hello and marched through the fourth floor as though she were reviewing the troops, hoping to find at least one soldier with scuffed boots or bad posture. I trailed her at a distance, not wanting to be in the line of fire if something displeased her, but she didn't say a word. Forty-five minutes later, I caught up with her as she leaned against the wall in one of the small back galleries. "You know," she was murmuring to herself, "I'm a pretty damn good painter."
(page 105)

With Love


  1. What a terrific tribute to an overlooked artist! I love that tidbit about her not using colour when she worked at night. And also loved the actual photo of her with Jackson Pollack. Thanks for this - esp since, as you said, there's not enough appreciation for female artists!

  2. Lovely work!
    Must see that movie too!


  3. I'm sold on tracking down that flick!

  4. The "After the storm" one is breathtaking!

  5. The Bird Image is incredible. What a beautiful post about the amazing artist:)
    Wish you a lovely Monday afternoon,sweetie

  6. Kristin, this is such a great overview of Lee Krasner! Her quote about color at night is especially poignant, and the night images so haunting, sad + strong. I really love The Vigil.

  7. Gorgeous art work. I love messenger, 1959. :)SArahD

  8. Thank you so much for this over view of such an impressive artist. Her work is extraordinary. An amazing artist in a turbulent time.

  9. I loove 'After the Storm' with 'Messenger' as a close second!

  10. no, unfortunately I didn't last the whole 48hours because of my very bad habit of talking too much. After I realized I've talked I did go back to my vow.

    great blog

  11. Love this post- I agree there are far too few amazing contemporary women artist- I love the last story about her self review- we should all learn to love what we do and be our own biggest fan.
    I also enjoyed the movie- I think I should watch it again- it's been a few years.
    All the best and have a lovely Tday!

  12. She is so talented, and I LOVED that movie. Awesome performance! XX!

  13. I love the color and textures. I really should see Pollock too!

    Thanks for the encouragement!

  14. Always liked her work, thanks for posting!

  15. After the storm is my fave followed closely by Vigil!

    Happy Thanksgiving dearie!

    xo, Persis.

  16. i love the texture there works of art have... hope you have a great week after the long weekend!

  17. Wonderful, wonderful! Loved studying her in college (so refreshing after all the white men). I haven't seen the movie in year. I think it's time to revisit.

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