Lee Krasner was an American painter who was married to Jackson Pollock, himself a very important figure in the movement of abstract expressionism, which was the movement that Krasner was apart of. Being a female painter at that time was not always without it’s difficulties, as the Civil Rights movement was being fought in the latter part of her career.
Perhaps most telling of the difficulties was when her teacher pronounced that she painted so well that a person “would not know it was painted by a woman.
This shows that at the time in the movement women were not considered on par with men who were leading the movement.
More, she was an artist who was continually lumped in with being the husband of the “most famous living American painter.” Pollock’s work, spirit and vision certainly contributed to Krasner’s own defining of herself as an artist. She described her first encounter with him as :A dying woman meets a killing man.”
In Avant-Garde and Partisans Reviewed, Fred Orton details how she was constantly trying to define her own work and that it was a struggle for her own identity as an artist.
Oron says that she saw something in Pollock’s work, which she wanted to be close to. He suspects this was due to her own maturity as an abstract painter, she wanted to be close to those who were as developed. Indicative of her importance in the abstract movement was how the Museum of Modern Art, an internationally renowned institution, commemorated her Lee Krasner’s legacy. They did something that only four other artists have had the posthumous honor of, they exhibited a retrospective collection of her work. The New York Times article on the event thought that it showered her place in “The New York School” She had become a major artist.
Avant-Gardes and Partisans ReviewedBy Fred Orton