Lee Krasner by Robert Hobbes

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Lee Krasner by Robert Hobbes
Introduction By B.H. Friedman


folio. pp. 224. profusely illustrated. bibliography. index. hardcover cloth. dw. (New with some very minor shelf wear along top edge of dw.). New York: Independent Curators International in association With Harry N.Abrams, Inc., [1999].

First Edition. Published in conjunction with an exhibition.

New.

ISBN-10: 0810963957 / ISBN-13: 9780810963955

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At nearly every stage of her 15-year marriage to the universally recognized Jackson Pollock, Lee Krasner was quicker to respond to stylistic innovations in the art world than her husband. Pollock either didn't catch on to the art-world developments that surrounded him or incorporated changes much later than Krasner did. Some critics read Krasner's dynamic painting style as evidence of her superiority as an artist, but others saw her porousness as a problem, and Pollock's comparative insularity as one key to his uniqueness. In Lee Krasner, Robert Hobbs gracefully analyzes the many forces--of personality, education, and cultural and political milieu--that shaped Krasner's 60-year devotion to art; in the process, he elucidates the many reasons her "artistically constructed self remains provisional."

B.H. Friedman, Pollock's first biographer, introduces the book with a gripping series of intimate, you-are-there diary entries from the long years of his friendship with the two artists. Then Hobbs weaves biography and critical interpretation to develop the main text of the book. The reproductions of Krasner's drawings and paintings (97 in colour) are excellent, giving a fair picture of her long career, and there are more than a score of black-and-white archival photos of Krasner and the other early abstract expressionists. The book has a few odd omissions though, such as any reference to Mark Tobey, whose "white writing" paintings and others are so closely related stylistically to Krasner's work of the 1940s. Still, this is the respectful but objective book Krasner's vigorous work and forceful personality deserve. It sheds sympathetic light on her lifelong, intellectually rigorous, artistic questing