Lee Krasner (1908-1984)
Property from a Family Foundation
Lee Krasner (1908-1984)

Thaw

Details
Lee Krasner (1908-1984)
Thaw
signed with initials and dated 'LK. '57' (lower center); signed and dated again 'Lee Krasner 1957' (on the stretcher)
oil on canvas
57 x 58¼ in. (144.8 x 148 cm.)
Painted in 1957.
Provenance
Martha Jackson Gallery, New York
Barbara Rose, New York
Robert Miller Gallery, New York
Roberta Rymer Balfe, Miami
By descent to the present owner
Literature
E. Landau, Lee Krasner: A Catalogue Raisonné, New York, 1995, p. 169, no. 319 (illustrated in color).
Exhibited
New York, Martha Jackson Gallery, Lee Krasner: Recent Paintings, February-March 1958.
New York, Robert Miller Gallery, Lee Krasner: Paintings from the Late Fifties, October-November 1982.
Miami, Center for the Fine Arts, Abstractions: A Tradition of Collecting in Miami, November 1994-January 1995, no. 37.
Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Des Moines Art Center; Akron Art Museum and Brooklyn Museum of Art, Lee Krasner, October 1999-January 2001, pp. 138, 140, 150-151, no. 61 (illustrated in color).
Coral Gables, Loew Art Museum, (exhibited on long-term loan), 1996-2004.
Easthampton, Pollock/Krasner Study Center (exhibited on long-term loan), 2005-2007.

Lot Essay

Among Krasner's masterpieces, Thaw was the expression of powerful creative forces that rose from her being at a momentous junction in her life. Painted in the Spring of 1957, at her house on Long Island where she and Jackson Pollock had lived together for 11 years. She took over the barn studio that had been his and made it her arena for action and a return to painting on a life-sized scale and in complete fullness of her personal expression.

Krasner had always made nature the underlying motif in her work and that Spring, only months after Pollock's sudden death she produced the exuberant tonalities and raw brushwork perfectly exemplified in Thaw. Striking a subdued primary chord, with crimson both scumbled over raw canvas and mixed into a deep rose spread smoothly, and defined by fragmented black delineations. The vivacious movement and use of off-white to redirect volumes are biomorphic, expressionist and post-cubist in their suggestion of shapes and pictorial depth. Other paintings made in this period were titled Spring Beat, The Gate, Celebration and Equation, sometimes referred to as the Earth Green series, as they abstract forms found in nature, and contrast emerald or acid greens playing against roses, reds and oranges. The exhibition where many of these paintings were shown opened in 1958 and was titled "Jackson."
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