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  • Pomarius

Joan Mitchell - Artist Influence

I was disappointed to only find one Joan Mitchell painting at the RA's Abstract Expressionist exhibition a few years ago. As soon as I stumbled across the work of the painter during my studies, I was immediately captivated by her work.

I tend to associate Mitchell's works with France more than the New York scene which is possibly why she had such a small representation at the show. Although tied to the New York school and close to many of the poets and writers associated with the post-war movement in America, Mitchell was working in France from the mid 1960s and became increasingly centred there. First in Paris, with a studio in Montparnasse. The artist also acquired property in the countryside in the village of Vetheuil.

My experience of Mitchell's work has therefore been mainly though the books and catalogues I own. For this journal entry, I'm sharing here one of the works that struck me on my return to Suffolk (plus the work at the top, La Grande Vallée II (Amaryllis) (1983) - one panel of the tryptic because how could I not?) I think perhaps because of the colours - the vivid yellows and blues were reflected back to me in the landscape of sky and rapeseed crops around the county.

The reproduction of Salut Tom (1979) I have is well thumbed. It's pages bare testimony to my note making in response to the work - page turns recorded in yellow paint from reading and working in my first studio.


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