Lee Krasner Gaea 1966

  • Not on view

Krasner reinvented her artistic style several times during the course of her career. In the mid-1960s her work took on a spirit of free invention, embodied in broad, sweeping strokes of paint—quite different from her smaller, thickly painted, and tightly controlled canvases of the late 1940s. Though she painted abstractly, Krasner rejected the notion that her painting was devoid of content—she “wouldn’t dream of” creating a painting from a fully abstract idea, she said. In works like this one, titled after the Earth goddess of the ancient Greeks, the artist claimed to be “drawing from sources that are basic.”

Gallery label from Abstract Expressionist New York, October 3, 2010-April 25, 2011.
Additional text

This is one of several large horizontal paintings that Krasner made in the 1960s, late in her career, when she would often use her whole body to apply broad, sweeping strokes of paint to the canvas. Titled after the ancient Greek goddess of the earth, Gaea is composed of floral colors and organic, somersaulting shapes that reflect the artist's abiding fascination with the natural world and its primeval origins. Krasner reinvented her artistic style several times over the course of her career, struggling to pursue an artistic identity separate from her role as wife (or, after 1956, widow) and relentless champion of her husband, Jackson Pollock.

Gallery label from Making Space: Women Artists and Postwar Abstraction, April 19 - August 13, 2017.
Oil on canvas
69" x 10' 5 1/2" (175.3 x 318.8 cm)
Kay Sage Tanguy Fund
Object number
© 2024 Pollock-Krasner Foundation / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Painting and Sculpture

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