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Lee Krasner at Robert Miller

by Robert Sievert

Lee Krasner: Present Subjunctive (1976)

Lee Krasner: Imperfect Indicative (1976)

Lee Krasner: Palingenesis (1971)

Lee Krasner: The Farthest Point (1981)

Images courtesy of Robert Miller Gallery



This wonderful exhibit at Robert Miller of Lee Krasner's work is revealing and instructive in the establishing of an individual artist within the context of an ideology of modern art. It also goes a long way towards establishing Krasner's identity as an artist. Krasner has long been known primarily as Jackson Pollack's wife. The work shown here establishes her artistic persona so clearly apart from his.


It's very clear that Lee Krasner was a Hans Hofmann student. Her work has a wonderful spatial dimension as well as a real structural security that borders on bravado. It is immediately recognizable to anyone familiar with the Hofmann pedagogy . Those charcoal drawings with spatial delineations, smudges turned into volumes and all the joy of the "hofmann space".


Krasner takes her work to new dimensions. She recycles the Hofmann material into elegant spatial designs. The struggle and investigation of plastic invention is cut up and collaged into a whole new ballgame. In "PRESENT_SUBJUNCTIVE 1976" black and white charcoal drawings are laminated to elegant raw linen giving the drawing renewed meaning through it's architectural use on the canvas. The cuts of the drawing echo the structure within producing a design that seems to be the conclusion of the spatial forays of Picasso in his shaping in larger works such as GUERNICA. This work is directly tied into the whole dogma of Abstract Expressionism.


The paintings are quite elegant. They are large clearly perceived designs painted onto large canvas panels. While visually and spatially stunning they in no way contain any passages of raw painting associated with the Hofmann style or with Pollack for that matter, rather they are restrained to geometric designs painted in flat even colors except for some areas of agitated brushwork that is always carefully contained and orchestrated.



Lee Krasner: Past Conditional (1976)

Lee Krasner: Olympic (1974)

Lee Krasner: Present Conditional (1976)

Lee Krasner: To The North (1980)

  Copyright © 2003 Robert Sievert




November 30, 2003