Joan Mitchell 1925 - 1992 American Abstract Expressionism/ New York School Painters
After graduating from the Art Institute of Chicago in 1947, Joan Mitchell moved to Manhattan and found herself in the midst of the New York School. She met artists Willem de Kooning and Franz Kline, and encountered the work of Arshile Gorky and Jackson Pollock, all of which profoundly influenced her shift from representational to non-objective painting. Upon her return from a fellowship year in Paris in 1949, Mitchell was immersed in the artistic milieu in New York. She was one of the few women invited to join and actively participate in “the Club,” the predominantly male bastion of Abstract Expressionism, in the early 1950s. In 1951 she had her first solo exhibition in New York City, and would continue to exhibit there throughout her career. Although her paintings were non-referential, they were influenced by nature rather than emotions. The landscape and atmosphere of the East End had a resounding impact on Mitchell’s work. Summering in East Hampton through the early 1950s, she absorbed and experienced much in these surroundings that would resurface in her later paintings. During the summer of 1953, she shared a rental with Paul Brach and Miriam Shapiro on their first visit to the East End. Many works from this period were drawn from her experiences in the Hamptons, and reflect her emotional tumult and flux during this time. Although she spent most of the rest of her life in Paris and the French countryside, Mitchell did return to East Hampton for one last summer in 1960 and exhibited in New York and the rest of the United States both during her lifetime and posthumously.
Sandler, Irving. Mitchell Paints a Picture. Art News Oct. 1957: 44-47. Vol.56, Number 5