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Artists Lee Krasner
Lee Krasner Photo

Lee Krasner

American Painter

Movement: Abstract Expressionism

Born: October 27, 1908 - Brooklyn, New York

Died: June 19, 1984 - Queens, New York

Lee Krasner Timeline

Quotes

"My painting is so autobiographical, if anyone can take the trouble to read it."
Lee Krasner
"I like a canvas to breathe and be alive. Be alive is the point. And, as the limitations are something called pigment and canvas, let's see if I can do it."
Lee Krasner
"All my work keeps going like a pendulum. It seems to swing back to something I was involved with earlier, or it moves between horizontality and verticality, circularity, or a composite of them. For me, I suppose, that change is the only constant."
Lee Krasner
"...With relation to the group, if you are going to call them a group, there was not room for a woman."
Lee Krasner

"I happened to be Mrs. Jackson Pollock and that's a mouthful.. I was a woman, Jewish, a widow, a damn good painter, thank you, and a little too independent."

Lee Krasner Signature

Synopsis

An ambitious and important artist in New York City during Abstract Expressionism's heyday, Lee Krasner's own career often was compromised by her role as supportive wife to Jackson Pollock, arguably the most significant postwar American painter, as well as by the male-dominated art world. Krasner was intimately involved in the synthesis of abstract form and psychological content, which announced the advent of Abstract Expressionism. Her desire to revise her aesthetic or what she called "breaks," led to her innovative Little Imageseries of the late 1940s, her bold collages of the 1950s, and, later, her large canvases, brilliant with color, of the 1960s. Krasner was "rediscovered" by feminist art historians during the 1970s and lived to see a greater recognition of her art and career, which continues to grow to this day.

Key Ideas

Krasner was a key transitional figure within abstraction, who connected early-20th-century art with the new ideas of postwar America. Inspired by artist Piet Mondrian's "grid," Krasner helped devise the "all-over" technique, which in turn influenced Pollock's revolutionary "drip paintings."
Krasner was remarkable for her artistic versatility and advanced skill, which, coupled with her intensive training in art theory, enabled her to revise her style and technique multiple times over the course of her career. Krasner purposefully initiated these "breaks" in order to distance herself from such artists as Mark Rothko and Barnett Newman, whose work she found too "rigid" and repetitive, and also to express herself more fully.
Krasner's incredibly high standards led her to cut up her older canvases that she found lacking. She recycled and reconfigured these scraps and pieces as collages, a practice that suggests that she was inspired by the work of Henri Matisse, whose work also inspired her colorful, decorative, large paintings of the 1960s. Because she reused her earlier canvases in this way, only a small body of Krasner's early work remains.

Biography

Lee Krasner Photo

Childhood

Lee Krasner was the sixth of seven children born to Russian-Jewish immigrants on October 27, 1908, who emigrated from Bessarabia. Growing up in immigrant, Jewish neighborhoods in Brooklyn, New York, Krasner was born Lena Krassner, but changed her name several times in the early portion of her life, eventually settling on Lee Krasner by the late 1940s. Art historians have pondered if Krasner used the abbreviated "Lee" as an attempt to disguise her gender.

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Lee Krasner Biography Continues

Influences and Connections

Influences on Artist
Artists, Friends, Movements
Influenced by Artist
Artists, Friends, Movements
Lee Krasner
Interactive chart with Lee Krasner's main influences, and the people and ideas that the artist influenced in turn.
View Influences Chart

Artists

Pablo PicassoPablo Picasso
Henri MatisseHenri Matisse
Piet MondrianPiet Mondrian
Hans HofmannHans Hofmann
Willem de KooningWillem de Kooning

Personal Contacts

Barbara RoseBarbara Rose
Clement GreenbergClement Greenberg
Jackson PollockJackson Pollock
Harold RosenbergHarold Rosenberg

Movements

RealismRealism
SurrealismSurrealism
CubismCubism

Influences on Artist
Lee Krasner
Lee Krasner
Years Worked: 1930 - 1981
Influenced by Artist

Artists

Jasper JohnsJasper Johns
Meyer SchapiroMeyer Schapiro

Personal Contacts

Jackson PollockJackson Pollock
Barbara RoseBarbara Rose

Movements

Abstract ExpressionismAbstract Expressionism
MinimalismMinimalism
FemmageFemmage
Feminist ArtFeminist Art

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Cite this page

Content compiled and written by Jessica Shaffer

Edited and published by The Art Story Contributors

" Artist Overview and Analysis". [Internet]. . TheArtStory.org
Content compiled and written by Jessica Shaffer
Edited and published by The Art Story Contributors
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