Joan Mitchell

1925 (Chicago) – 1992 (Neuilly-sur-Seine, France)

Mitchell held her own among the macho abstract-expressionist world. Wilder (published by her mother) read to her as a child. She rejected Hofmann’s teaching, but would meet him dog-walking (he’d tell her she should be painting). Orozco and Siquieros were met on a trip to Mexico. The de Koonings, Guston (who lived above her), Kline, Leslie and O’Hara were among a New York crowd, while in Paris she got to know Steinberg, Francis and her lover Riopelle. Beckett, a lifelong friend, admired her capacity for drink and passion for silence. Hartigan said she’d never heard anyone, male or female, swear like her.

Joan Mitchell knew…