Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Lee Krasner: Meet the Missus

When arrested in 1936 during a protest over the dismissal of 500 artists from the WPA Federal Art Project, Lee Krasner told the unsuspecting police officer processing her that her name was “Mary Cassatt.” (One of the similarly impish men arrested gave the name “Picasso.”) For most of her life and ever since her death in 1984, Krasner has been known primarily as Mrs. Jackson Pollock, wife and widow of the abstract expressionist who dominated American art during his brief life. Gail Levin’s Lee Krasner: A Biography corrects this case of mistaken identity in bringing Krasner out from behind the familiar labels and storylines to stand on her own as a powerfully fascinating figure and artist. Krasner’s “growing recognition” from the 2000 film Pollock (in which she was portrayed by Academy Award-winner Marcia Gay Harden) and novels such as John Updike's Seek My Face “owes more to fiction than fact,” Levin writes. Lee Krasner: A Biography proves that the facts are almost always more Link interesting. Please come over to Picture This at Big Think to read more of "Lee Krasner: Meet the Missus."

[Image: Lee Krasner. Right Bird Left, 1965.]


Hels said...

I am very pleased that Krasner protested in 1936 over the dismissal of 500 artists from the WPA Federal Art Project. I am sorry she was arrested, but at least we can see that she was a serious, socially aware young woman with very decent political moral impulses. Jackson Pollock, alas, was a fall down drunk.

Cris said...

I wasn't aware that Lee Krasner painted. When I saw the image for this article I immediately thought of Jackson Pollock's earlier work.

You can certainly see the influence.