Joan Mitchell (American, 1926-1992) Untitled 1983

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Lot 27
Joan Mitchell
(American, 1926-1992)
Untitled
1983

Sold for US$ 225,312 inc. premium
Joan Mitchell (American, 1926-1992)
Untitled
1983

signed
pastel on paper

15 3/8 by 11 1/2 in.
39 by 29.2 cm.

This work was executed in 1983.

Footnotes

  • Provenance
    Robert Miller Gallery, New York
    Private Collection, Canada
    Edward Tyler Nahem Fine Art, New York
    Private Collection, USA
    Private Collection, USA
    Acquired directly from the above by the present owner

    Exhibited
    New York, Xavier Fourcade, Inc., Drawings,1983
    New York, Xavier Fourcade, Inc., Drawings,1987
    New York, Edward Tyler Nahem Fine Art, Memory Abstracted, 2002, p. 17, illustrated in color


    A master of Abstract Expressionism who has broken numerous records at auction for women artists, Joan Mitchell created a singular visual vocabulary over her nearly four decade career. Born in Chicago in 1925, she came of age in New York amongst the Second Generation Abstract Expressionists including friends and fellow artists Helen Frankenthaler and Grace Hartigan. Mitchell moved to France in 1959 where she would complete many of her most famous works, choosing to live abroad for the opportunity to cultivate creative and personal freedom.

    The present work hails from Mitchell's mature period and exemplifies her confident and virtuosic approach to color and composition which defined her career. Executed in 1983, this work was a study for her iconic and most sought-after series of Grande Vallée paintings. Often regarded as the pinnacle of her career, this suite of twenty-one monumental canvases was named after a picturesque setting of lakes and hills in Brittany, France. This area was a place of fond childhood memories for Mitchell's close friend and assistant Gisèle Barreau, and the series is therefore a deeply personal expression of emotion and memory. Coming to auction for the first time, this is a rare opportunity to acquire an expressive and gestural pastel by Joan Mitchell not seen by the public in nearly twenty years.

    A comprehensive retrospective of Joan Mitchell's work is currently being organized by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and The Baltimore Museum of Art. After opening at the host institutions from Spring 2021, it will travel to the Solomon R. Guggeheim Museum, New York, and the Foundation Louis Vuitton, Paris. This exhibition will not only include her famous large-scale canvases, but will also focus on her process for the first time in a curatorial setting and highlight the importance of her pastels, works on paper and small paintings to her wider practise.

    Mitchell's work can be found in the collections of many international institutions including the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Tate Gallery, London; Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington D.C. and the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington D.C.
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