Lee Krasner (1908-1984)
signed and dated 'Lee Krasner '60' (lower left); signed and dated again, and titled 'Lee Krasner 1960 "entrance"' (on the stretcher)
oil on canvas
84 x 70¼ in. (213.3 x 178.4 cm.)
Painted in 1960.
Howard Wise Gallery, New York
Pace Gallery, New York
Mr. James Lodge
Robert Miller Gallery, New York
Mr. and Mrs. Paul C. Schoff III, Lincoln, NE
Acquired from the above by the present owner
R. Howard, Lee Krasner: Umber Paintings, New York, 1993, fig. 9 (illustrated in color).
R. Hobbs, Lee Krasner, New York, 1993, p. 74.
E. Landau, Lee Krasner: A Catalogue Raisonné, New York, 1995, p. 184, no. 346 (illustrated in color).
New York, Howard Wise Gallery, Recent Paintings by Lee Krasner, 1960, no. 2 (illustrated).
South Hadley, MA, Dwight Art Memorial, Mount Holyoke College, Women Artists in America Today, April, 1962, no. 30 (illustrated).
New York, Pace Gallery, Lee Krasner: Paintings 1959-1962, February-March 1979, n.p. (illustrated).
Hartford, CT, Real Art Ways, Are You a Boy or Are You a Girl?, March-April 1992.
Los Angeles and La Jolla, Tasende Gallery, Lee Krasner: Collages and Paintings, January-April 1998, pp. 22-23, no. 8 (illustrated in color).

Brought to you by

Jennifer Yum
Jennifer Yum

Lot Essay

"... grasping their potency, a NYT critic wrote of the [Howard Wise Gallery] 1960 show that it was a 'brilliant exhibition by an abstractionist who is able to visualize huge canvases with rhythmic pulses of energy. The outstanding characteristic of [Krasner's] work is her ability to impose and maintain control."
-quoted in "Chronology: Lee Krasner 1908-1984," prepared by J.D. Grove, Lee Krasner: A catalogue raisonné, New York, 1995, p. 315.

In Entrance, Krasner's expressive and atmospheric painting from 1960, the artist brings together dramatic passages of cream and white pigment intermingled with fractured schisms of muted earth tones to create a mesmerizing canvases full of energy and intrigue. The vertical movements rely on a newly powerful backhand motion while some curvilinear sweeps bring a change in the rhythm. The artist's energy is fully deployed across the surface of the painting and envelops the canvas. Gene Baro, who organized a show of Krasner's works at the Corcoran Gallery in the 1970s, observed "There is almost too much and yet somehow the pictorial energies are disciplined... by a precise sense of scale. Nothing spills over. There is intensification of effect without dissipation" (G. Baro, quoted in B. Rose, Lee Krasner: A Retrospective, exh. cat., Museum of Fine Arts Houston, 1983, p. 107)
Although Lee Krasner's career has historically been overshadowed by that of her more famous husband, between them the pair came to be the tour de force behind the New York School of painting that became the dominant movement of post-war American art. A talented artist in her own right (something that only became truly recognized after Pollock death in 1956), Krasner's style played an important part in her husband's artistic development, a fact recognized by the critic and champion of Abstract Expressionism, Clement Greenberg, "even before their marriage [Krasner's] eye and judgment became important in [Pollock's] art, and continued to remain so" (C. Greenberg, quoted by R. Hobbs, 'Lee Krasner,' Lee Krasner, exh. cat., Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 1999, 28). Hobbs continues, "In her art, Krasner dramatizes a change of enormous import as she moves from the monolithic definition of individual identity evident in the single-image compositions prevalent in the mature works of many Abstract Expressionists toward a more open-ended perception of the self as a dynamic constellation of forces" (Ibid).

More from Post-War & Contemporary Morning Session

View All
View All