Abstract Expressionist – Lee Krasner



Lena(Lee) Krasner is probably most
commonly known as the wife of Jackson 
Pollock. However, she deserves her own
recognition as a female icon
in the world of Abstract 

Born in the United States in 1908
just a few weeks after arriving
with her mother and siblings from
Russia to meet up with their father.
The family hoped for a life of
opportunity in America after leaving
a lot of unrest in their native land.

Lena was one of 5 children
and she loved her father dearly.
Early on she became enamored by the
tales he would tell that combined
a sense of magic and beauty with
elements of the unknown and scary.

Krasner carried a fear of the dark
into adulthood that stemmed from a dream
in early childhood. She also 
developed a strong bond with nature
during the time her family lived in rural 
East New York.

There's a rich fabric to her life
story. It's hard to edit! Krasner
was quite radical and outspoken
as an individual from the get go in my
view. And somewhat fearless as well which
I think helps as an artist. Krasner's
parents supported Lee's educational goals
provided she made no demands on them. 
She was accepted to Cooper Union where
her gifts were recognized early on. 

Later on as she moved into larger
art circles she edited her name
from Lena to Lee, in part
for the ambiguity in gender. It was 
a constant challenge to be recognized
on the same level as many of her
male peers even though she
exhibited with the likes of Piet
Mondrian and Fernand Leger.

“The Seasons”

Ms. Krasner was very involved in 
political aspects of the art world
as were her colleagues. There were 
on going challenges for artists and
she was an active advocate for artists


The paintings I selected to share 
were produced after the death of
Jackson Pollock (her husband). Krasner
had often put her work on the back
burner to support Jackson on all
fronts and was integral in his 
success. One critic noted these
works to be "...most mature and personal,
as well as joyous and positive to date --
done during a period of profound sorrow
for the artist." B.H.Friedman

I like these pieces because they are
different yet have a cohesive quality.
In learning more about Krasner's history
I see aspects of her experience with nature 
and elements of the darkness she feared.

Perhaps fear of darkness is really fear of
light? Nature needs both - so is that an
abstract expression? 

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