“My own image of my work is that I no sooner settle into something than a break occurs. These breaks are always painful and depressing but despite them I see that there’s a consistency that holds out, but is hard to define.”
Lee Krasner would often cut up her drawings and paintings to create collages – revising, revisiting and discarding. She had exacting standards and constantly edited and reassessed her work, consequently her catalog of surviving artworks (published in 1995) lists only 599 known pieces. She was rigorously self-critical and this critical eye is believed to have been important to (her husband) Jackson Pollock’s work.
Within a creative partnership (containing two creative souls) there is always a hierarchal tipping point.
The individual who creates the most waves within the public domain automatically become the dominant figure. The perception of achievement and value automatically encircles the ‘socially successful’ individual. Within these partnerships the minor player is in many cases the glue that binds the success together. History always plays down this importance.
“With Jackson there was quiet solitude. Just to sit and look at the landscape. An inner quietness. After dinner, to sit on the back porch and look at the light. No need for talking. For any kind of communication.”
Krasner had a crisis of identity – being both a woman and the wife of Pollock, the public and artistic perception of her role as wife and artist lead her to sign her works with the genderless initials “L.K.” instead of her more recognizable (public) full name. The daily give-and-take of the partnership between Pollock and Krasner stimulated both artists. They both fought a battle for legitimacy and individual expression and opposed old-fashioned, conformism and its repressive culture…
…but which one drove the successful partnership?
Lee Krasner. (2012, April 7). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 07:38, April 10, 2012, from http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Lee_Krasner&oldid=486005656
Other woman artists linked to the Abstract Expressionism movement included:
Helen Frankenthaler, a major contributor to postwar American painting scene exhibiting her work for over six decades (early 1950s until 2011).
Joan Mitchell was a “second generation” abstract expressionist painter and an essential member of the American Abstract expressionist movement, even though much of her career took place in France.
Grace Hartigan was the only woman artist in the Museum of Modern Art‘s legendary The New American Painting exhibition which toured Europe in the late 1950s.
- Jackson Pollock: Unpublished Photos (life.time.com)
- Paintings from archives (peterbright.info)
- Jackson Pollock: Painting a picture of long island (independent.co.uk)
- Lee Krasner quotes (brainyquote.com)