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Joan Mitchell

Making Space: Women Artists and Postwar Abstraction (group show)
Museum of Modern Art, New York
15 April - 13 August 2017

Making Space shines a spotlight on the stunning achievements of women artists between the end of World War II (1945) and the start of the Feminist movement (around 1968). In the postwar era, societal shifts made it possible for larger numbers of women to work professionally as artists, yet their work was often dismissed in the male dominated art world, and few support networks existed for them. Abstraction dominated artistic practice during these years, as many artists working in the aftermath of World War II sought an international language that might transcend national and regional narratives—and for women artists, additionally, those relating to gender.

Drawn entirely from the Museum’s collection, the exhibition features nearly 100 paintings, sculptures, photographs, drawings, prints, textiles, and ceramics by more than 50 artists. Within a trajectory that is at once loosely chronological and synchronous, it includes works that range from the boldly gestural canvases of Lee Krasner, Helen Frankenthaler, and Joan Mitchell; the radical geometries by Lygia Clark, Lygia Pape, and Gego; and the reductive abstractions of Agnes Martin, Anne Truitt, and Jo Baer; to the fiber weavings of Magdalena Abakanowicz, Sheila Hicks, and Lenore Tawney; and the process-oriented sculptures of Lee Bontecou, Louise Bourgeois, and Eva Hesse. The exhibition will also feature many little-known treasures such as collages by Anne Ryan, photographs by Gertrudes Altschul, and recent acquisitions on view for the first time at MoMA by Ruth Asawa, Carol Rama, and Alma Woodsey Thomas.

Museum of Modern Art, New York


Additional:

Joan Mitchell, Navid Nuur, Ida Tursic & Wilfried Mille et al.

Painting the Night (group show)
Centre Pompidou-Metz, Metz
13 October 2018 - 15 April 2019

Night-time has been a major source of inspiration throughout Art History and continued to fascinate artists during the 20ieth century. Though the idea might seem incongruous at first, “painting the night” is, on the contrary, extremely meaningful. To begin with, night-time has never been pitch black, and even less so since the electricity revolution, also it is at night that one may, physically as well as symbolically, experience a form of “detachment from the world” much sought after by modernity. Dusk could very well be a perfect metaphor for the elusive boundary between figuration and abstraction. This exhibition assembles major works by legendary Avant guards as well as younger generations, together with some spectacular installations by contemporary artists, while following the thread of two distinct yet interrelated orientations: painting the night can mean representing night or painting at night. There is, here, a choice between perfecting our perception of the environment and simply closing one’s eyes. Painting without seeing because one’s perception is obscured or breaking free from the physicality of the retina, that is the question.

Centre Pompidou-Metz, Metz


Joan Mitchell

The Water Lilies. American Abstract Art and the last Monet (group show)
Musée de l’Orangerie, Paris
13 April - 20 August 2018

In 1955, Alfred Barr brought one of Monet’s large panels of Water Lilies (W1992) into the collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York, at a time when these great "decorations", still in the studio in Giverny, were beginning to attract the attention of collectors and museums.

Monet was presented at that time as "a bridge between the naturalism of early Impressionism and the highly developed school of Abstract Art" in New York, with his Water Lilies seen in the context of Pollock’s paintings, such as Autumn Rhythm (number 30), 1950. The reception of these later Monet works resonated with American Abstract Expression then coming into the museum collections. At the same time, the idea of "Abstract Impressionism" was forged. The exhibition at the Musée de l’Orangerie focuses on this precise moment - when the great decorations of the master of Giverny were rediscovered and the New York School of Abstract Art was recognised - with a selection of some of Monet’s later works and around twenty major paintings by American artists such as Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, Barnett Newman, Clyfford Still, Helen Frankenthaler, Morris Louis, Philip Guston, Joan Mitchell, Mark Tobey, Sam Francis, Jean-Paul Riopelle and Ellsworth Kelly.

Musée de l’Orangerie, Paris