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  • Provenance

    Estate of the artist
    Robert Miller Gallery, New York
    Private Collection
    Robert Miller Gallery, New York

  • Exhibited

    New York, Robert Miller Gallery, Joan Mitchell 1992, March 30 – May 8, 1993
    New York, Robert Miller Gallery, Joan Mitchell, September 12 – October 12, 2002

  • Literature

    J. Ashbery, Joan Mitchell 1992, New York: Robert Miller Gallery, 1992, plate 2 (illustrated)

  • Catalogue Essay

    “I am alive, we are alive, we are not aware of what is coming next.” - Joan Mitchell, 1986

    Untitled, 1992, is a beautiful example of Joan Mitchell’s late work and is a testament to the accumulated wisdom of her nearly fifty-year career. As a second wave Abstract Expressionist painter, Mitchell often found respite in using actual landscapes and vistas as inspirations for her pieces. Indeed, it became her method of choice as she developed her signature approach to abstraction. As she aged, her physical strength may have waned, but her output ceased to diminish. In a flourish, Mitchell went on to create some of her most moving and lush paintings during her final decade of life.

    Untitled, 1992, bears the marks of Mitchell’s inimitable hand, with heavy brushstrokes replete with saturated color. Like many of the artist’s most well-loved work, Untitled, 1992, is a study in natural splendor and bounty. The lower portion of the painting, populated by a series of crisscrossing tans and forest greens, evokes an autumnal brush, late in bloom but ripe in color and intensity. Above, Mitchell has rendered a veritable sea of sky, a deep and cool Matisse blue to balance the foliage below. Flecks of red and yellow serve to ground the more prominent colors, giving depth and texture to an almost dichromatic palette.

    Mitchell’s choice of color in the present lot is telling, as she had recently traveled to New York to view the Matisse exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art. There is no question that the Fauvist master, who had always exerted a profound influence upon Mitchell’s work, was on Mitchell’s mind during this time. In its totality, Untitled, 1992, is one of Mitchell’s last sage glances at the world that surrounded her, as evident in its beauty as it is powerful in its serenity.

  • Artist Biography

    Joan Mitchell

    Known for her highly emotive gestural abstraction, Joan Mitchell was one of the most prominent members of the second generation of Abstract Expressionists. Mitchell painted highly structured, large-scale compositions featuring vibrant, violent bursts of color and light, often influenced by landscape painting and informed by her emotional understanding of the world around her. Mitchell was one of the only female artists of her generation to achieve critical and public acclaim, and her work was featured in the famous Ninth Street Show of 1951, which introduced the world to the emerging American avant-garde. 

    Mitchell was a devoted student of art as well as a talented painter; she developed an intimate understanding of color through her admiration of the work of Henri Matisse and Vincent van Gogh and adapted the gestural abstraction of her day to create an art form completely her own, and continued her investigation of abstraction for the rest of her career. Her work has influenced subsequent generations of artists and is featured in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, Tate Modern, and many of the world’s most distinguished institutions. 

     
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PROPERTY OF A DISTINGUISHED WEST COAST COLLECTOR

26

Untitled

1992
oil on canvas
51 x 38 in. (129.5 x 96.5 cm.)
Signed "Joan Mitchell" lower right.

Estimate
$500,000 - 700,000 

Sold for $749,000

Contact Specialist
Zach Miner
Head of Evening Sale
[email protected]
+1 212 940 1256

Contemporary Art Evening Sale

New York 11 November 2013 7PM