“ I carry my landscapes around with me “
New York, 537 West 20th Street
This is the first exhibition to focus on the artist’s multipaneled paintings. Organized in collaboration with the Joan Mitchell Foundation, the works on view—which span four decades of Mitchell’s career—will allow for a unique opportunity to explore the range of scale and formal experimentation of this innovative facet of her oeuvre.
Mitchell established a singular approach to abstraction over the course of her career. Her inventive reinterpretation of the traditional figure-ground relationship and synesthetic use of color set her apart from her peers, resulting in intuitively constructed and emotionally charged compositions that alternately evoke individuals, observations, places, and points in time.
One of the few artists of her generation to embrace polyptych compositions, Mitchell over time refined and expanded her approach to the format, orchestrating a distinctive balance between continuity and rupture both within and across panels. The horizontally oriented, panoramic expanse of these paintings is ideally suited to landscape—an important and enduring subject for Mitchell that she linked directly to memory. As the artist stated in 1958, "My paintings are titled after they are finished. I paint from remembered landscapes that I carry with me—and remembered feelings of them, which of course become transformed. I could certainly never mirror nature. I would like more to paint what it leaves me with."1
Although her first multipaneled work (a diptych aptly titled The Bridge) was created in 1956, Mitchell began to fully explore the possibilities afforded by combining panels into diptychs, triptychs, and expansive quadriptychs in the 1960s and 1970s. As Judith E. Bernstock has noted, these paintings, unlike the artist’s single canvases, "are composed of panels that function as separate entities and yet draw from each other; her sense of equilibrium extends within each panel as well as throughout the whole."2
The exhibition will feature paintings from both public and private collections as well as holdings drawn from the Joan Mitchell Foundation.
on view through June 22, 2019