May 9, 2019
Lee Krasner, Desert Moon, 1955
Too often, abstract expressionism is considered to be a boys’ club, where macho painters upended the post-war art world with formidable paintings. However, there were plenty of women who were integral to the movement, and a few are being given their dues. In Venice, Helen Frankenthaler is being celebrated some fifty years after representing the United States at the national pavilion, with an exhibition at the Museo di Palazzo Grimani (until 17 November). Meanwhile in London, a well-overdue retrospective of Lee Krasner will open at the Barbican Art Gallery (30 May to 1 September). Krasner is often overlooked due to the gargantuan career of her husband Jackson Pollock, but she was a powerhouse in her own right. The exhibition showcases not only her large-scale abstract canvases, but energetic charcoal life drawings, early collages and archival photographs documenting proposed department store window displays, which she designed during the war period.