December 18, 2009

Honor Spotlight

Lee Krasner




Lee Krasner was born Lena Krassner in 1908 to Russian emigré parents living in Brooklyn. Interested in the arts from an early age, Krasner attended the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Art and Science, and later the National Academy of Design. Krasner’s early artistic influences included Giorgio de Chirico and Joan Miro, but it was under the tutelage of Hans Hofmann in 1937 that she began to develop her own artistic voice.

By the late 1930s and early 1940s, Krasner was gaining recognition for working in an innovative style that reflected the influences of Synthetic Cubism and Neoplasticism. During the war years, Krasner’s art went through a transitional period, throughout which she painted intuitively, working and reworking her canvases. In 1945, Krasner married artist Jackson Pollock, whose free, all-over technique stimulated Krasner.

At this time, her energetic, staccato paintings were also informed by ancient languages and calligraphic systems. Pollock’s career took precedence over Krasner’s throughout their partnership, and Krasner struggled to find her mature voice, experiencing phases of hesitation interspersed with periods of intense creative activity.

It was not until after Pollock’s untimely death in 1956, and the death of Krasner’s mother, Anna Krasner, in 1959 that Krasner created her most memorable works: large gestural paintings from her Umber and White series, and monumental, expressive collages.

Krasner died in 1984, leaving a large body of diverse work that firmly established her as an important figure in mid-century American Abstract Expressionism.
-AC

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