City Landscape

Large abstract painting, vibrant cluster of multi-colored brushstrokes over a pale background.
© The Estate of Joan Mitchell

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  • Large abstract painting, vibrant cluster of multi-colored brushstrokes over a pale background.

Date:

1955

Artist:

Joan Mitchell
American, 1925-1992

About this artwork

Although influenced by Abstract Expressionist artists in New York in the early 1950s, Joan Mitchell did not prioritize self-expression: her often exuberant abstractions were “about landscape, not about me,” she once explained. Mitchell painted large, light-filled canvases animated by loosely applied skeins of bright color—here infused with the energy of a large metropolis.

The title suggests a relationship between the painting’s network of pigments and the nerves or arteries of an urban space. The sense of spontaneity conveyed in City Landscape, however, belies Mitchell’s methods. Unlike many of her contemporaries, who were dubbed “action painters,” Mitchell worked slowly and deliberately. “I paint a little,” she said. “Then I sit and look at the painting, sometimes for hours. Eventually, the painting tells me what to do.”

On View

Contemporary Art, Gallery 291

Artist

Joan Mitchell

Title

City Landscape

Origin

United States

Date

1955

Medium

Oil on linen

Inscriptions

Signed: recto: "J. Mitchell" (lower right in black paint); not inscribed on verso

Dimensions

203.2 × 203.2 cm (80 × 80 in.), unframed

Credit Line

Gift of Society for Contemporary American Art

Reference Number

1958.193

Copyright

© The Estate of Joan Mitchell

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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