Joan Mitchell “The Black Drawings and Related Works 1964 – 1967”

Lennon, Weinberg, Inc.

poster for Joan Mitchell “The Black Drawings and Related Works 1964 – 1967”

This event has ended.

In the spring of 1965, Joan Mitchell had her seventh and final exhibition at the historic Stable Gallery in New York where her career as a painter had been launched more than a decade earlier. Included in the exhibition were the first in a series of paintings that she described at the time as her “new black paintings, although there’s no black in any of them.” It would not have been known at the time, but these paintings had companion drawings, and those works on paper, never before exhibited, are at the heart of our presentation nearly a half century after they were made. There is a series of small, bold works made on sketchbook sheets with a haze of charcoal covered with watercolor or oil. These are the closest in appearance to the “black” paintings, and like them, have no black to speak of. Larger and compositionally kindred is a series of charcoal drawings with flashes of sepia pastel on soft, textured handmade paper. Together, these are the “black drawings” for which this exhibition is titled. They are accompanied by two contemporaneous paintings that ask us to consider the dialogue between her primary medium of paint and the works on paper that generated so many advances in her evolution as an artist. Mitchell generally spoke of her work in terms of feelings rather than their theoretical or structural aspects. The formal issue that did engage her was the relationship between figure and ground; never before had she addressed it so directly as in these mid-1960s works. We know from the titles of the related paintings that these compositions refer to trees, most specifically cypresses, perhaps silhouetted against the sky in favorite places like Calvi and Girolata in Corsica that she visited during summers sailing on the Mediterranean with her companion, painter Jean Paul Riopelle, his daughters and a coterie of friends.



from May 08, 2014 to June 28, 2014


Joan Mitchell

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