Born in Chicago in 1925, Joan Mitchell grew up to be a central figure of second-generation Abstract Expressionism. Educated at Smith and the Art Institute of Chicago, she moved to New York, where her disobedient gestural brushstrokes wielded abstract swaths of color. Her palette was vibrant, and she was often inspired by nature, once explaining that she tried “to paint what it leaves me with.” In her later years, Mitchell settled in Vétheuil, a quaint town near Paris, to be nearer to the natural world. Mitchell was also a printmaker. These works on paper, created during those years tucked away in France’s lulling hills, explore color, shape, and space. —E.C.
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