Lee Krasner is best known as the artist-wife of Jackson Pollock,
the renowned abstract expressionist painter. Yet in this riveting
new biography, the first full-length account of her colorful life,
distinguished art historian Gail Levin challenges previous
portrayals of Krasner, and shows that she was an independent and
resourceful woman of uncompromising talent and prodigious energy.
Krasner emerges as a significant artist who deserves her place in
the twentieth century's cultural lexicon and artistic pantheon.
The daughter of Jewish immigrants newly arrived from Russia,
Krasner grew up impoverished in Brooklyn. With no support or role
model, she began to make her own way during the late 1920s and
early 1930s as a talented, outspoken artist and political
progressive. Krasner's contemporaries, who took notice of her
remarkable sex appeal, drive, and ambition, were either captivated
or threatened, but they all found her memorable. During the Great
Depression, she supported herself painting murals for the WPA, was
called a Trotskyite for speaking out at the Artists Union, and got
arrested for demonstrating on behalf of workers' rights.
In 1936 Krasner first encountered an intoxicated Jackson Pollock
at an Artists Union dance. They met again by chance when both were
about to be featured in the same group show in 1942, and soon they
were a couple, marrying three years later. To nurture Pollock and
his talent, Krasner gave up her life in the city, where she had
socialized easily with fellow artists such as Arshile Gorky, Willem
de Kooning, and Piet Mondrian. Once they moved to Long Island's
rural East End, Krasner and Pollock became the center of a new
avant-garde community. In this captivating book, Gail Levin probes
Krasner's relationship with Pollock, examining how this strong
woman struggled to meet the challenges of their poverty, as well as
her husband's alcoholism and extramarital affairs, all the while
encouraging his art. Levin uncovers never-before-told stories of
how Krasner managed so skillfully to market Pollock's work and how
this eventually raised prices for all the abstract
Drawing on new sources and numerous personal
interviews--including with Krasner, whom Levin knew and interviewed
during the last years of the artist's life--Levin has written a
dynamic, compelling, and moving portrait of a brilliant woman that
recovers Krasner's voice and allows us to see that her life
intersected with and informed her art.
|Country of origin:
||231 x 155 x 48mm (L x W x T)
||Hardcover - Unsewn / adhesive bound / Paper over boards / With dust jacket
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