Joan Mitchell - Editions Southampton New York Saturday, June 25, 2022 | Phillips

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  • The Hamptons’ landscape has long served as a source of inspiration and a haven away from New York City for artists. In the late 19th century, a fraternal collective known as the Tile Club marked the first artist group to establish roots out in the Hamptons. The members included artists such as Winslow Homer, who had begun venturing East a few years earlier in 1874, as well as William Merritt Chase, Augustus Saint-Gaudens, and J. Alden Weird. Their excursions out to the Hamptons were sponsored by the Long Island Rail Road, who would use their en plein air paintings and sketches as promotional materials for the railroad. 
    "In the 1950s and 60s, the place became one of the most significant meeting grounds of like-minded artists who extended their vanguard artistic activities and experimentations beyond their hometown."
    —Elena Martinique, Author of “How the Hamptons Inspired Artists in the 1950s and 1960" 
    It wasn’t until decades later, with the emergence of the New York School in the mid-20th century that female artists successfully broke into Hamptons art scene. They benefited from the artistically fertile environment and dismantled its legacy as an exclusive boys club. Despite the male dominated nature of the Abstract Expressionist movement, artists such as Lee Krasner, Elaine de Kooning, and Joan Mitchell joined the community of New York bohemians summering out East and participated in the enclave’s creative leisure and social activities. The famed annual Artist & Writers softball game was founded in 1954. Franz Kline’s team included Willem de Kooning, Jackson Pollock, and Joan Mitchell, while art critic Harold Rosenberg accepted Elaine de Kooning and actor Eli Wallach onto his team.

    The development of the Hamptons “as a great incubator for abstract painting is owed, in part to one woman[,] Peggy Guggenheim.” Lee Krasner and her husband, Jackson Pollock, were among the first Abstract Expressionist artists to move from New York to the Hamptons. After a few weekend visits to the area, Guggenheim loaned the couple the down payment on a home in Springs, an East Hampton hamlet, in 1945. Initially, Krasner painted in an upstairs bedroom, while Pollock renovated the barn and turned it into his studio. Following his death in 1956, Krasner took over the spacious and natural light-filled barn space, where she produced many of her major works and refined her nature-inspired imagery. 

    Elaine and Willem de Kooning visited Krasner and Pollock in 1948 and subsequently bought their own home in the Hamptons in the early 1960s. However, after separating and reconciling, Elaine de Kooning purchased another house in 1975, where she stayed during the last years of her life. She commented that, 

    "Women can also be creative in total isolation. I know excellent women artists who do original work without any response to speak of. Maybe they are used to lack of feedback. Maybe they are tougher."
    —Elaine de Kooning
    De Kooning, along with Krasner and Mitchell experimented with new themes and ideas while out East in the Hamptons, with each artist producing their own significant works influenced by the local landscape.


Trees II

Monumental lithograph in colors, on two sheets of Rives BFK paper, the full sheets.
overall S. 57 x 82 1/4 in. (144.8 x 208.9 cm)
Signed and numbered 14/34 in pencil (there were also 8 artist’s proofs), published by Tyler Graphics, Ltd., Mount Kisco, New York (with their blindstamp), framed.

Full Cataloguing

$20,000 - 30,000 

Sold for $50,400

Contact Specialist

212 940 1220

Editions Southampton

New York Auction 25 June 2022