AboutInverleith House is delighted to announce that this Summer it will present the first museum exhibition in the UK devoted to the artist Joan Mitchell (19251992) one of the most important and singular American painters of the post war period, whose influence and stature are gaining increasing recognition today.
Mitchell studied at The Art Institute of Chicago before moving to New York in the late 1940s where she became the youngest member of the Abstract Expressionist movement, enjoying the support of artists such as Willem de Kooning and Franz Kline. In 1959 she left the United States and moved to France, where she lived and worked for the rest of her life. There, she developed a highly personal painterly style synthesizing an Abstract Expressionist tendency with the traditions of high European painting. In the colour, brushwork, and structure of her paintings one finds affinities with Paul Cézanne, Vincent van Gogh, and Henri Matisse.
On show at Inverleith House, widely regarded as one of the most beautiful galleries in the UK, the exhibition comprises seven paintings on canvas and five works on paper, (from public and private collections in Europe and America) made throughout the artist's career and it considers Mitchell's work in light of her love of nature and poetry. A poet's painter, Mitchell was a lifelong reader of William Wordsworth, John Clare, Gerard Manley Hopkins, Wallace Stevens, and Rainer Maria Rilke. During her time in New York she befriended key figures of the then-emerging New York School of poetry (James Schuyler, Frank O'Hara, and John Ashbery), while in France she came to know Samuel Beckett and Jacques Dupin. Like these writers, Mitchell expresses through her painting a complex interplay of emotion, memory, and sense of place.
It has been selected by New York-based writer and curator Philip LarrattSmith and is presented in association with the Joan Mitchell Foundation, New York. Inverleith House gratefully acknowledges the additional support of Cheim & Read Gallery, New York and Hauser & Wirth, Zürich.
An illustrated publication will be produced from the exhibition, containing an essay by Philip Larratt-Smith and interviews with the American poet John Ashbery, writer Paul Auster, and sculptor Lynda Benglis.
The exhibition is part of an ongoing series of exhibitions by internationally-acclaimed artists presented during Festival time, which has included in recent years; John McCracken, Richard Hamilton, William Eggleston, Ian Hamilton Finlay, Cy Twombly, Franz West, Ed Ruscha, Lawrence Weiner, Agnes Martin and Carl Andre. Inverleith House was formerly the founding home of the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art (1960 to 1984) and its exhibitions make use of its natural light and exterior views to the Garden and City beyond.
The exhibition is presented as part of the 2010 Edinburgh Art Festival. Inverleith House is a Flexibly-Funded Client organisaton of The Scottish Arts Council.