Painting by Lee Krasner
Lee Krasner. Noon. 1947

Painting…in which the inner and the outer man are inseparable, transcends technique, transcends subject and moves into the realm of the inevitable.

Lee Krasner

Lee Krasner (1908-1984) is a pivotal figure at the juncture of early 20th-century modernism and abstract expressionism. Krasner produced several distinct bodies of work, the “Little Image” series of the late 1940s perhaps being the most famous. These works were made starting in 1945, when Krasner lived with her husband, the famous action painter Jackson Pollock, in a small home on the eastern end of Long Island.

Krasner was extremely accomplished in both studio art and art theory. But at the time, she was better known as the irascible Mrs. Pollock than an artist in her own right. The “Little Image” paintings were only known to a circle of fellow artists and critics who visited the couple at their home. More recently, Krasner’s work has gained a wider appreciation along with other #womenofabex. Her 1960 painting, The Eye is the First Circle recently sold for $11.7 million, a record price for her work.

Painting by Lee Krasner
Lee Krasner. The Eye is the First Circle. 1960.

Like Pollock, Krasner often employed an “all over” approach to composition, but she was also greatly influenced by Pablo Picasso’s Cubism, Henri Matisse’s use of color and outline, and Piet Mondrian’s use of the grid. Yet her work combines bold gesture and a controlled rhythm that makes it distinctly her own.

If you are a fan of Krasner’s style, we would encourage you to get to know Sheila Grabarsky, a contemporary American artist who has recently relocated from New Jersey to South Carolina. Grabarsky incorporates bold gesture and rhythm in a way that is reminiscent of Krasner. However, Grabarsky’s work also incorporates a riotous use of color akin to Matisse and the Fauves, creating joyful compositions with an air of natural spontaneity.

Grabarsky Painting
Sheila Grabarsky. Vanilla Float. via Williams Sonoma Home

Grabarsky is a process painter, and says of her method: “I search for evolving forms within the composition, look for ‘eye flow’ and use my color intuition,” she explains. “This is the mystery I love about abstraction – always evolving and birthing itself.” Grabarsky works primarily with acrylics and mixed media, sometimes employing a unique process in which parts of the painting are sanded down and then repainted or filled in with pastels. Grabarsky’s original work is available through Williams Sonoma Home, ugallery.com and US galleries including;

  • ArtWorks, Cedar City, Utah
  • Beauregard Fine Art, Rumson, NJ
  • Boxheart Gallery, Pittsburgh, PA
  • Lori Austin Gallery, Sebastopol, Ca
Abstract Painting by Sheila Grabarsky
Sheila Grabarsky. Summerwood. via Williams Sonoma Home

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