A. The Lee Krasner exhibition at the Los Angeles Country Museum of Art reexamines her place in American Art.
B. Krasner was a quasi-member of the Abstract Expressionist group of painters throughout her career.
1. Received professional training in the 1930s and became friends with the painters and critics who came to form the Abstract expressionist movement.
2. Married Jackson Pollock in 1940s and enabled him to become leading artist.
3. Her own work was largely ignored by critics, museums, galleries, and fellow artists and she was not considered a real part of the group.
C. Reasons for her exclusion and obscurity.
1. Overshadowed by Pollock, an idea she rejected.
2. Male artists and critics, like most Americans, did not believe women could really paint.
3. Abstract expressionism embodied a notion of masculinity based on intensive personal expression, huge scale, action, and energy. Krasner resisted revealing personal expression because it placed her at odds with prevailing "male heroics" of abstract expressionism.
D. Comparison of 1940s paintings by Krasner and Pollock demonstrates the difference in approach between his expressionism and her more careful attention to structure and surface.
E. Krasner's work only valued after women's movement began to call attention to her exclusion and explain the reasons for it.
The Los Angeles County Museum's (LACMA) exhibition of the life's work of Lee Krasner (1908-84) sets out deliberately to redefine the parameters of American art. There are many approaches to this ongoing redefinition of the nation's art traditions. Some look at genres that have been neglected and society portraits, marine paintings, and scenes of rural life are then seen in fresh, unbiased ways. Others study different media, from quilts to performance art, and expand the definition of American art. But the most common approach to inclusion has probably been the study and revaluation of ...