Monday, September 8, 2014

Lee Krasner, Image Surfacing

Lee Krasner, Image Surfacing, c1945

Lee Krasner (1908-1984) is now probably best known for her marriage to Jackson Pollock, but she was a very prominent artist in her own right.  Krasner was the more successful of the two before they met, and she continued to work long after Pollock died.  This particular painting was done around 1945, a period when Lee is considered to have mostly devoted herself to fostering Jackson's career.  However, this painting is quite powerful and speaks to Lee's continued creativity.  I am drawn to this type of abstraction--there are defined shapes that might evoke certain images (buildings perhaps), or they might not.  Often Krasner's paintings demonstrate an exploration of a particular shape, and in this case triangles seem to dominate.  There are small triangles, elongated ones, some in between, and even some of the other shapes, like the purple trapezoid just above and left of center, seem to tend toward triangles.  Krasner's color choices are also quite striking.  The blue that is prevalent throughout the canvas manages to be intense and washed out at the same time, and it plays beautifully with the whites, pinks, and purples.  Like a lot of abstract painting, it is difficult to articulate exactly where the power and feeling of this painting comes from, but I love the piece and it engages and moves me.

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