Issue Date: March 11, 2010
City: Buffalo, NY
Printing Method: Lithographed
Perforations: Serpentine Die Cut
Joan Mitchell – La Grande Vallee O
Discussing the impact of art on her life, Joan Mitchell (1925-92) remarked, “Painting is like music – it is beyond life and death. It is another dimension.” Those who view her works discover this other dimension – filled with bright colors and endless magical landscapes.
Fond of literature and art from an early age, Joan Mitchell sold her first landscape painting while in eighth grade. Viewing the works of Paul Cézanne, Wassily Kandinksy, Henri Matisse, and especially Vincent Van Gogh fueled her love of art and largely influenced her painting style. Arriving in New York City in 1950, Mitchell became well known among the Abstract Expressionists, who praised her work and helped establish her reputation as one of the city’s most promising young artists. After five years, she moved to Paris, where she was greatly influenced by the style and colors of the French Impressionists.
For 13 months beginning in 1983, Mitchell embarked on a 21-painting suite (she disliked the term “series”) called La Grande Vallée. Covering each canvas from edge to edge, her oil paintings captured Mitchell’s own enchanting vision of the way the vast landscape made her feel.
One of the era’s few successful female painters, Joan Mitchell gained recognition at an early age and spent her career pushing the boundaries of her art.