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Joan Mitchell Hardcover – June 1, 2009
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As an artist, Joan Mitchell's talents and significance were often overshadowed by the time and place of her work. While living in New York in the 1950s, for instance, she had to share a stage with such luminaries as Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning, a feat further complicated by her gender. Second, she chose to live in France for the last decades of her life, causing her to slip from the collective memory of most Americans. Regardless of this undeservedly diminished stature, Mitchell will go down in history as a leader of the Abstract Expressionist movement, leaving behind an impressive and influential body of work. Joan Mitchell is very much a labor of love, since, in her will, the artist asked her longtime friend Klaus Kertess to write the text for this collection, a task that he completes with style and skill. Along with revealing her personality and motivations, Kertess does an admirable job of detailing the impressive artistic circles Mitchell ran in while living in Chicago, New York, and Paris. This volume exhibits 120 pieces of her work, as well as a detailed and comprehensive biographical chronology that is sure to help jog some memories. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Kertess ... does a wonderful job of re-creating the context in which Mitchell (1926-92) first made her mark . It is the most complete study of her work to date. -- The New York Times Book Review, Robin Lippincott --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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This is a quality publication, with good essays (in both English and German)and supurb images. All 34 plates are full color, full page, all with crisp resolution, and span from 1950 to 1992. What the book lacks in number of images, it makes up for with some 'rarities' taken from private collections, previously unpublished. This is certainly not even close to a definitive collection of Mitchell's work, but it is a good overview.
The other book that compares is the Whitney Museum book:
The Paintings of Joan Mitchell (Whitney Museum of American Art) by Jane Livingston
I wish I had known that there are only 34 reproductions of her work in the book, and they fall short in quality and richness when compared with the Whitney Museum book on Joan Mitchell.
I wish I had purchased "The Paintings of Joan Mitchell" (published by the Whitney Museum 2002) first.