Joan Mitchell
Untitled, 1956

Artwork Info

Artwork title
Artist name
Joan Mitchell
Date created
oil on canvas
24 in. × 19 5/8 in. (60.96 cm × 49.86 cm)
Date acquired
Collection SFMOMA
Gift of Sam Francis
© Estate of Joan Mitchell
Permanent URL
Artwork status
Not on view at this time.

Audio Stories

What made Mitchell different from her contemporaries?

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Broad slashes of paint are clustered in this untitled canvas by Joan Mitchell. In this energetic work, painted around 1960, the artist employs a brilliant ultramarine blue along with darker, earthy browns, greens and reds. Look closely. You can see how Mitchell integrates dried, textured paint into the composition. Note how the artist adds loose drips of translucent paint to the less active corners.  


Mitchell is considered to be a second generation Abstract Expressionist. She was one of the few women able to hold her own in New York’s legendary Cedar Bar along with painters like Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning. But unlike her peers, she gave credit to the inspirational role that nature played in her painting.  



Joan Mitchell’s work might be distinguished from many other Abstract Expressionist artists’ work in that she very directly acknowledges the importance of landscape in her painting.  



Curator, Janet Bishop.  



Mitchell is not interested in replicating the look of landscape but rather capturing the feelings of the landscape.  



In the mid-1950s, Mitchell moved from New York to France. She first settled in Paris and then, appropriately enough, she moved to the picturesque countryside near where the French Impressionist Claude Monet painted. 

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Other Works by Joan Mitchell

See other works by Joan Mitchell

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