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Joan Mitchell

Abstract Expressionism (group show)
Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao
3 February - 4 June 2017

In the “age of anxiety” surrounding the Second World War and the years of free jazz and Beat poetry, artists like Pollock, Rothko, and de Kooning broke from accepted conventions to unleash a new confidence in painting. Abstract Expressionism was born from the common experience of artists living in 1940s New York, although they were friends and colleagues, each of them had their own unique style. Unlike what came before with Cubism and Surrealism, Abstract Expressionism did not appear to follow a set formula. This diversity is a celebration of the individual artists’ freedom to express themselves.

Abstract Expressionism meant a watershed moment in the evolution of 20th-century art, yet, remarkably, there has been no major survey in Europe of the movement since 1959. With over 130 paintings, sculptures, and photographs from public and private collections across the world, this ambitious exhibition encompasses masterpieces by the most acclaimed American artists associated with the movement–among them, Willem de Kooning, Arshile Gorky, Phillip Guston, Franz Kline, Joan Mitchell, Robert Motherwell, Barnett Newman, Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, Aaron Siskind, David Smith, and Clyfford Still, as well as lesser-known but no less vital artists.

The selection aims to re-evaluate Abstract Expressionism, recognizing that though the subject is often perceived to be unified, in reality it was a highly complex, fluid, and many-sided phenomenon. Likewise, it revises the notion of Abstract Expressionism as based solely in New York City by addressing such figures on the West Coast as Sam Francis, Mark Tobey and Minor White.

Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao


Additional:

Joan Mitchell

Mitchell / Riopelle. Un Couple dans la Démesure (group show)
Musée National des Beaux-Arts du Québec, Québec City
12 October 2017 - 7 January 2018

Canadian painter Jean-Paul Riopelle (1923-2002) and American painter Joan Mitchell (1925-1992) are, like Auguste Rodin and Camille Claudel, Man Ray and Lee Miller, Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo, Jackson Pollock and Lee Krasner, part of the constellation of romantic and artistic mythologies that are as tumultuous as they are prosperous, between admiration and abhorrence, emulation and jealously, solitude and accomplishment.
For the first time, an exhibition is examining their respective artistic careers in terms of their relationship, from the time they met in 1955, to their separation in 1979. Some 60 major works stemming from their work and their love story, will be assembled.

Organized in partnership with the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO), supported by the Estate of Jean-Paul Riopelle in Montréal and the Joan Mitchell Foundation in New York, the exhibition will focus mainly on large-format paintings, a number of works on paper and archival documents from French, Canadian and American private and museum collections. The presentation will explore how the two artists, who shared their lives for nearly 25 years, in Paris, then in Vétheuil in the Seine valley, developed a workshop practice and a distinctive body of work while sustaining a broad dialogue focusing on abstraction. Their tastes for the Impressionist heritage, nature and a form of provocation certainly drew them together. Their romantic relationship entirely shaped their deeply singular conception of painting and work methods.

Musée National des Beaux-Arts du Québec, Québec City