Black and White

Black and white abstract painting with beige vertical shapes
© 2018 Pollock-Krasner Foundation / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

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  • Black and white abstract painting with beige vertical shapes

Date:

1953

Artist:

Lee Krasner
American, 1908-1984

About this artwork

Lee Krasner’s pictures from the 1940s on were informed by her understanding of the Abstract Expressionist ideal: to infuse abstract, painterly forms with mysterious and significant content. The substantial body of work she created shows her sustained development toward a refined expression of this concept. Black and White is one of Krasner’s first and most important works in a group of early paper collages. The drawings that she disassembled to create these collages echo the work of her husband, Jackson Pollock, from the same period. According to the art historian Ellen Landau, however, it is difficult to determine who originated the strategy of cannibalizing previous works to create new ones. Throughout her career, Krasner employed the technique more consistently than Pollock.

In Black and White, Krasner not only appropriated her own discarded markings but also referred to Pollock’s early-1940s tactic of quoting Pablo Picasso’s studio subjects. She reversed the gender implications of Picasso’s prototypes by showing, at right, a female figure who may be a painter contemplating her works of art, or perhaps a woman looking in a mirror. The artist’s redeployment of studio scraps in a new context helped her, paradoxically, to mark out new aesthetic territory.

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Prints and Drawings

Artist

Lee Krasner

Title

Black and White

Origin

United States

Date

1953

Medium

Oil paint, gouache, and cut and torn painted paper, with adhesive residue on cream laid paper

Dimensions

766 × 571 mm

Credit Line

Margaret Fisher Endowment

Reference Number

1994.245

Copyright

© 2018 Pollock-Krasner Foundation / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email .

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