Artist biography

American painter. It was not until 1937, when she entered the Hans Hofmann School of Fine Arts, that she found an environment in which her art could flourish. She began to create powerful abstract still-lifes.

Krasner had met Jackson Pollock, with whom she had taken part in an exhibition in 1941 to demonstrate that American art was now equal in stature to European art. She responded immediately to Pollock's work, believing that he was ‘a living force'. Unfortunately, however, Krasner's growing admiration for Pollock's work and immersion in his career proved initially debilitating for her own art. She entered a protracted fallow period during which she produced overworked ‘grey slabs' as she called them, with no recognisable style or imagery.

Krasner and Pollock's marriage in 1945 and their move to the rural village of The Springs, near East Hampton, Long Island, turned out to be artistically rewarding.

During the period of 1953–5, Krasner made a significant technical move into the medium of collage.

Immediately after Pollock's violent death in 1956 that she created her most memorable and truly autobiographical paintings, large gestural works generated by whole body movement. From 1959 to 1962, working in his barn studio, she poured out her feelings of loss in explosive bursts of siena, umber and white.

The influence of Pollock was important in the development of Krasner's mature style, in which her ability to give key modernist concepts a personal inflection finally emerges as the leitmotif of her work.

Bibliography
Lee Krasner Paintings, Drawings and Collages (exh. cat. by B. H. Friedman, London, Whitechapel A.G., 1965)
Lee Krasner: Large Paintings (exh. cat. by M. Tucker, New York, Whitney, 1973)
Lee Krasner: Collages and Works on Paper, 1933–1974 (exh. cat. by G. Baro, Washington, DC, Corcoran Gal. A., 1975)
E. G. Landau: ‘Lee Krasner's Early Career, Part One: “Pushing in Different Directions”', A. Mag., lvi/2 (1981), pp. 110–22
——: ‘Lee Krasner's Early Career, Part Two: The 1940s', A. Mag., lvi/3 (1981), pp. 80–89
Krasner/Pollock: A Working Relationship (exh. cat. by B. Rose, East Hampton, Guild Hall Mus.; New York U., Grey A.G.; 1981)
Lee Krasner: A Retrospective (exh. cat. by B. Rose, Houston, TX; Mus. F.A.; New York, MOMA; 1983)
E. G. Landau: ‘Lee Krasner's Past Continuous', ARTnews, lxxxiii/2 (1984), pp. 68–77
Krasner—Pollock: Künstlerpaare—Künstlerfreunde; Dialogue d'artistes—Resonances (exh. cat. by E. G. Landau and S. Kuthy, Berne, Kstmus., 1989)

ELLEN G. LANDAU

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