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Joan Mitchell Prints

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Joan Mitchell was a second generation expressionist painter, whose style of expression drew inspiration from landscapes. Born on February 12th 1925, at Chicago, Joan was truly an epitome among the American Expressionist painters of the century. She was a Masters in Fine Art and a deep follower of Willem de Kooning and Franz Kline gestural drawings. She is better known for her bold use of colours, sweeping brushstrokes, large paintings inspired by landscape, poetry and nature. Her paintings defined emotional intelligence of the artist.

The Achievements
By the year 1950, Mitchell was regarded as a leading artist of the New York School. She was among the few successful female painters of the second generation of American Abstract Expressionists. Her paintings drew aspiration from Vincent Van Gogh’s work too. Her artistic approach in “No Birds” was meant to pay homage to Vincent’s work. Mitchell’s work speaks a lot about her abrasive personality. After moving to France, Mitchell made paintings that she herself considered to be as “very violent and angry”. In the year 1964, she recovered from her violent emotional journey. The paintings of Mitchell bring out her protesting emotions. Her paintings moved from dense to transparent strokes, gridded versus chaotic structures, impromptu drawings, weight on the below of canvas to weight at the above, light to dark, choppy to continuous strokes, clashing versus harmonious juxtapositions, all reflecting the emotional turmoil which was part of Mitchell’s personality. Her paintings were part of many exhibitions; her first solo exhibition was held at the “New Gallery” in the year 1952. ART news featured her debut work methodology. Her first retrospective exhibition had a collection of 54 paintings which were described as “art-historized live” by Joan.

The Last Days
Joan was a victim of the cancer. From the early 1980s, her health started deteriorating but her spirit for painting didn’t culminate. One can see the transformation of her health through her paintings. Her post cancer paintings reflect the psychological changes that she went through all along her treatment for cancer. She has a great fancy for sunflowers, and in the final years of her life, she returned to her favourite subject once again. Through her work she wanted to “convey the feeling of a dying sunflower”. During her treatment of hip replacement surgery she was fascinated with the thought of watercolour painting and took the brush to reflect her emotional journey. She was diagnosed with advanced lung cancer, few years after she successfully recovered from oral cancer, which finally lead to the sad demise of this great artist.

Her collections are still very popular and a part of the famous” Museum of Modern Art” and “Whitney Museum of American Art”, both in the city of New York, “Walker Art Centre”, Minneapolis, “Albright–Knox Art Gallery”, Buffalo, “Tate Gallery” at London, “Fondation Cartier pour l'Art Contemporain, in Paris”, “The Ulster Museum” in Northern Ireland and the “San Francisco Museum of Modern Art” and many more art galleries and museums.

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