Friday, 9 March 2012

'Joan Mitchell The Last Paintings' Hauser and Wirth, London

'My paintings aren’t about art issues. They’re about a feeling that comes to me from the outside, from landscape. … Paintings aren’t about the person who makes them, either. My paintings have to do with feelings’. Joan Mitchell, 1974
Joan Mitchell 'Trees' 1990—1991, oil on canvas, Diptych
We are big fans of Joan Mitchell here at the new Abstraktion Offices (more of this soon). Hauser and Wirth, one of the leading galleries in London, opposite the Royal Academy, is showing a great antidote to th Hockney show, by exhibiting the late paintings of Mitchell that unlike Hockney, show a questioning artist in her late prime and still pushing paint to find its limitations. (See our earlier posts on Mitchell).

Joan Mitchell left America having made her name as an artist during the Abstract Expressionist period in New York. Living and working in France, and influenced by the landscape and Monet, she resisted drawing too much from it, yet furrowed her own approach to abstraction: a loose touch, dynamic energy and leaving a great legacy.

Joan Mitchell 'Then, Last Time IV'  Oil on canvas, 1985
The exhibition also features Mitchell's late, purely abstract paintings. These works range in format including single canvasses, diptychs and tondos. The works display a radical and free use of colour and line, as well as a confident experimentation with composition, scale and physical structure. Each painting showcases Mitchell's mature artistic style that, over a prolific period of three decades, had fully developed into a unique personal language of colour, line and form. Together, these late paintings demonstrate what Richard Marshall describes in the exhibition's accompanying catalogue as the artist's 'pure joy of putting paint to canvas'.

The exhibition is on until 28th April 2012. 'Joan Mitchell. The Last Paintings' has been organised in collaboration with Cheim & Read, New York and the Joan Mitchell Foundation.

Go see...

Installation view: Joan Mitchell 'Tondo' Oil on canvas, 1991,
149.9 x 149.9 cm / 59 x 59 in

1 comment:

  1. I also love the work of Joan Mitchell, I love the way that her work is about paint and pushing it until it opens up new possibilities. As an artist who also responds to landscape, but through the potential of paint, I find so many layers of meaning in her work. I am very happy to learn of the London exhibition and will go to see it!