Lee Krasner: Little Image Paintings, 1946–1950
Pollock-Krasner House, Springs, N.Y.
Through Oct. 31
It’s not often you get to study an artist’s paintings in the actual place where they were produced, said Benjamin Genocchio in The New York Times. This “wonderful exhibition” brings together the small abstract paintings created by Lee Krasner after she and husband Jackson Pollock left Manhattan in 1945. Their Long Island home, now a museum known as the Pollock-Krasner House, makes a unique setting for this exhibition. Krasner, who died in 1984, would create plenty of large-scale paintings later in her career. But the works from this period are small ones, whose “richly patterned, impasto surfaces recall mosaics or stained-glass windows.” Some look like the famous drip abstractions created by Pollock around the same time. Others are “impressionistic, almost pointillistic in style and completely different from anything Pollock ever produced.” Seeing them all in the same location helps put Krasner’s often overlooked work in perspective.
It’s about time that the “long neglected oeuvre” of this wonderful artist finally has received “top billing,” said Lee Rosenbaum in The Wall Street Journal. The fast-living Pollock, who perished in a 1956 car accident, overshadowed Krasner in both life and death. Though the two obviously influenced each other, the differences between their works during this period could not be clearer. Her vein-like streaks of paint “are at once more densely applied and more delicate than Pollock’s—an almost obsessive, meticulous coating of the entire canvas, rather than the loose, impetuous sling-and-fling” of Pollock. When at her best, Krasner was among the finest artists of her era, and works like the “luxuriantly textured and vibrantly colored” Shellflower (1947) pulse with energy. Indeed, the intricate paintings she created immediately after moving to Long Island “could well be her career’s crowning achievement.”