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"Joan Mitchell: Lady Painter"

By Rich Fisher


Tulsa, Oklahoma – On this edition of StudioTulsa, we are talking about one of the great painters of the 20th century --- a driven, intensely focused, and unwavering artist who lived and loved both tirelessly and recklessly, and who also happened to be a woman: Joan Mitchell. Though not as well-known as several of her male abstract-expressionist colleagues --- painters like Jackson Pollack, Willem de Kooning, Franz Kline, and Hans Hofmann --- Mitchell (1925-92) was, as an artist, as tough and passionate as she was intelligent and observant, and today her works remain among the most valuable paintings to come out of the postwar period. (In 2008, one of her pieces sold at auction for more than $6 million, the most money ever paid for a painting by a woman.) Our guest on ST is the curator, author, and art journalist Patricia Albers, whose new book is "Joan Mitchell: Lady Painter: A Life." One critic, writing of this biography in a starred review in Booklist, has called it: "Electrifying.... Albers emulates Mitchell's painterly mission to conjoin 'accuracy and intensity' in this transfixing and justly revealing portrait."