Lee Krasner

Lee Krasner's grave in front with Jackson Pollock's grave in the rear in the Green River Cemetery.

Lee Krasner (October 27, 1908 – June 19, 1984) was an influential abstract expressionist American painter in the second half of the 20th Century; she was married with Jackson Pollock till his death in 1956.


  • All my work keeps going like a pendulum; it seems to swing back to something I was involved with earlier, or it moves between horizontality and verticality, circularity, or a composite of them. For me, I suppose that change is the only constant.
    • Lee Krasner, ‎Marcia Tucker, ‎Whitney Museum of American Art (1973) Lee Krasner: large paintings. Nr. 33. p. 8
  • With Jackson there was quiet solitude. Just to sit and look at the landscape. An inner quietness. After dinner, to sit on the back porch and look at the light. No need for talking. For any kind of communication.
    • In: Eleanor C. Munro (1982) Originals: American women artists. p. 114
  • One could go on forever as to whether the paint should be thick or thin, whether to paint the woman or the square, hard-edge or soft, but after a while such questions become a bore. They are merely problems in aesthetics, having only to do with the outer man. But the painting I have in mind, painting in which inner and outer are inseparable, transcends technique, transcends subjects and moves into the realm of the inevitable.
    • In: Barbara Rose, ‎Lee Krasner, ‎Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (1983) Lee Krasner: a retrospective. p. 134
  • I think my painting is so autobiographical if anyone can take the trouble to read it.
    • In: Anne Middleton Wagner (1996) Three Artists (three Women):: Modernism and the Art of Hesse, Krasner, and O'Keeffe. p. 154

From: Art Talk, Conversations with 15 woman artists, 1975Edit

Lee Krasner in: Art Talk, Conversations with 15 woman artists, Cindy Nemser, 1975, Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data 1995

  • (Piet Mondrian's) comment was: ‘You have a very strong inner rhythm. You must never lose it’. Then we moved on. Piet Mondrian had said something quiet beautiful to me. Hofmann was also excited and enthusiastic about what I was doing at this time (around 1938) but his comment was: ‘This is so good that you would not know it was done by a woman’. His was a double-edged compliment. But Mondrian’s evaluation rides through beautifully.
    • p. 73
  • Without getting complicated let me recapitulate my art training in the following way: the Academy first, the break with the Academy when I hit the Hofmann School which is Cubist. The next real break follows when I see Pollock’s work and once more another transition occurs... It was a force (Pollock’s work, ed.), a living force, the same sort of thing I responded to in Matisse, in Picasso, in Mondrian. Once more, I was hit that hard with what I saw... I began feeling the need to break with what I was doing and to approach something else.
    • p. 74
  • I went into my own black-out period which lasted two or three years where the canvases would simply build up until they’d get like stone and it was always just a gray mess. The image wouldn’t emerge, but I worked pretty regularly. I was fighting to find I knew not what, but I could no longer stay with what I had.
    • p. 74
  • In 1946 what I call my ‘Little Image’ began breaking through this (former) gray matter of mine. I felt fantastic relief that something was beginning to happen after all this time when there was nothing, nothing, nothing... The canvas is down on a floor or table and I am working out of a tiny can. In other words, I have to hold the paint so I can move it. But I wouldn’t have been using Duco. My paint would always have been oil and I could get the consistency of a thick pouring quality in it by squeezing it into a can and cutting it with turp – the way I use paint today... The only thing I can say with absolute assurance is that my ‘Little Image’ work starts about 1946 and ends in 1949.
    • p. 77
  • I merge what I call the organic with what I call the abstract, which is what you are calling the geometric. As I see both scales, I need to merge these two in the ever-present. What they symbolize I have never stopped to decide. You might want to read it as matter and spirit and the need to merge as against the need to separate. Or it can be read as male and female.
    • p. 78
  • Right up until today Pollock takes a lot of mine time... and while you ask ’How much did it take out of me as a creative artist’ I ask simultaneously, ‘What did it give?’ It is a two-way affair at all times. I would give anything to have someone giving me what I was able to give Pollock.
    • p. 79
  • I do not mean extended, to mean esthetic definition of space. For me, it is a matter of whether the canvas allows me to breathe or not – if the canvas soars into space or if it is earthbound. When it is earthbound it irritates me enormously. I would like to soar in a canvas.
    • p. 91
  • I think every once in a while I feel the need to break my medium... if I have been doing a very large painting I like to drop into something in small scale. It is a challenge to go into this size. It is just to hold my own interest, and then each media has its own conditions.
    • p. 93

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