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PROPERTY OF A DISTINGUISHED WEST COAST COLLECTOR Joan Mitchell Untitled 1992 oil on canvas 51 x 38 in. (129.5 x 96.5 cm.) Signed "Joan Mitchell" lower right.
Provenance Estate of the artist Robert Miller Gallery, New York Private Collection Robert Miller Gallery, New York Exhibited New York, Robert Miller Gallery, Joan Mitchell 1992, March 30 – May 8, 1993 New York, Robert Miller Gallery, Joan Mitchell September 12 – October 12, 2002 Literature J. Ashbery, Joan Mitchell 1992, New York: Robert Miller Gallery, 1992, plate 2 (illustrated) Catalogue Essay “I am alive, we are alive, we are not aware of what is coming next.” - Joan Mitchell 1986 Untitled, 1992, is a beautiful example of Joan Mitchell’s late work and is a testament to the accumulated wisdom of her nearly fifty-year career. As a second wave Abstract Expressionist painter, Mitchell often found respite in using actual landscapes and vistas as inspirations for her pieces. Indeed, it became her method of choice as she developed her signature approach to abstraction. As she aged, her physical strength may have waned, but her output ceased to diminish. In a flourish, Mitchell went on to create some of her most moving and lush paintings during her final decade of life. Untitled, 1992, bears the marks of Mitchell’s inimitable hand, with heavy brushstrokes replete with saturated color. Like many of the artist’s most well-loved work, Untitled, 1992, is a study in natural splendor and bounty. The lower portion of the painting, populated by a series of crisscrossing tans and forest greens, evokes an autumnal brush, late in bloom but ripe in color and intensity. Above, Mitchell has rendered a veritable sea of sky, a deep and cool Matisse blue to balance the foliage below. Flecks of red and yellow serve to ground the more prominent colors, giving depth and texture to an almost dichromatic palette. Mitchell’s choice of color in the present lot is telling, as she had recently traveled to New York to view the Matisse exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art. There is no question that the Fauvist master, who had always exerted a profound influence upon Mitchell’s work, was on Mitchell’s mind during this time. In its totality, Untitled, 1992, is one of Mitchell’s last sage glances at the world that surrounded her, as evident in its beauty as it is powerful in its serenity. Read More
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