Lee Krasner

Thames & Hudson. Jun. 2019. 240p. ed. by ed. by Eleanor Nairne. illus. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780500094082. $50. FINE ARTS
Edited by Barbican curator Nairne (Basquiat: Boom for Real), this wonderful catalog of artist Lee Krasner’s (1908–84) first retrospective European show will renew interest in the artist since her two stateside retrospectives decades ago. Fresh perspectives interpret the artist’s processes and themes referencing environmental or literary influences, as well as describe her place in postwar art history. A newly edited interview with Gail Levin, author of a 2011 biography of Krasner, showcases the intellect, abstraction, and mystery as evidenced in Krasner’s life and art. Handsome color reproductions presenting an array of Krasner’s work include earlier pieces reinvented into new collages. Researchers will appreciate the careful documentation and chronology of an art world with an underrepresentation of female artists, as well as the examinations of Krasner’s relationships with husband Jackson Pollock and other mentors.
VERDICT With this work, a new generation of students, feminists, and art lovers will discover one of the first women to have a solo show at the Museum of Modern Art as well as better understand her relevance and appeal today. This should sit nicely next to earlier retrospective catalogs by Barbara Rose and Robert Carleton Hobbs.
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