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Cover image for Ninth Street women : Lee Krasner, Elaine de Kooning, Grace Hartigan, Joan Mitchell, and Helen Frankenthaler : five painters and the movement that changed modern art
Ninth Street women : Lee Krasner, Elaine de Kooning, Grace Hartigan, Joan Mitchell, and Helen Frankenthaler : five painters and the movement that changed modern art
1st ed.
Physical Description:
xvi, 927 pages, 48 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations (some color), portraits ; 25 cm.
Introduction -- Prologue: The Ninth Street show, New York, May 1951 -- Part One, 1928-1948. Lee: Lena, Lenore, Lee ; The gathering storm ; The end of the beginning -- Elaine : Marie Catherine Mary Ellen O'Brien Fried's daughter ; The master and Elaine -- Art in war : The flight of the artists ; It is war, everywhere, always ; Chelsea ; Intellectual occupation ; The high beam ; A light that blinds, I ; A light that blinds, II -- The turning point : It's 1919 over again! ; Awakenings ; Separate together ; Peintres maudits ; Lyrical desperation ; Death visits the Kingdom of the Saints ; The new Arcadia -- Part Two, 1948-1951. Grace : The call of the wild ; The acts of the Apostles, I ; The acts of the Apostles, II ; Fame ; The flowering ; Riot and risk -- Helen : The deep end of wonder ; The thrill of it ; The puppet master -- Joan : Painted poems ; Mexico to Manhattan via Paris and Prague ; Waifs and minstrels -- Part Three, 1951-1955. Oh, to leave a trace : Coming out ; The perils of discovery ; Said the poet to the painter ; Neither by design nor definition -- Discoveries of heart and hand : Swimming against a riptide ; At the threshold ; Figures and speech ; Refuge ; A change of art ; Life or art ; The Red House -- Five women : The grand girls, I ; The grand girls, II ; The grand girls, III -- Part Four, 1956-1959. The rise and the unraveling : Embarkation point ; Without him ; The gold rush ; A woman's decision ; Sputnik, beatnik, and pop ; Bridal lace and widow's weeds ; Five paths... ; ...Forward -- Epilogue.
Set amid the most turbulent social and political period of modern times, Ninth Street Women is the impassioned, wild, sometimes tragic, always exhilarating chronicle of five women who dared to enter the male-dominated world of twentieth-century abstract painting--not as muses but as artists. From their cold-water lofts, where they worked, drank, fought, and loved, these pioneers burst open the door to the art world for themselves and countless others to come. Gutsy and indomitable, Lee Krasner was a hell-raising leader among artists long before she became part of the modern art world's first celebrity couple by marrying Jackson Pollock. Elaine de Kooning, whose brilliant mind and peerless charm made her the emotional center of the New York School, used her work and words to build a bridge between the avant-garde and a public that scorned abstract art as a hoax. Grace Hartigan fearlessly abandoned life as a New Jersey housewife and mother to achieve stardom as one of the boldest painters of her generation. Joan Mitchell, whose notoriously tough exterior shielded a vulnerable artist within, escaped a privileged but emotionally damaging Chicago childhood to translate her fierce vision into magnificent canvases. And Helen Frankenthaler, the beautiful daughter of a prominent New York family, chose the difficult path of the creative life. Her gamble paid off: At twenty-three she created a work so original it launched a new school of painting. These women changed American art and society, tearing up the prevailing social code and replacing it with a doctrine of liberation. In Ninth Street Women, acclaimed author Mary Gabriel tells a remarkable and inspiring story of the power of art and artists in shaping not just postwar America but the future. --