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Artwork of Joan Mitchell Celebrated in New Orleans

March 29, 2010 12:00 PM

The Newcomb Art Gallery will debut "Joan Mitchell in New Orleans" on Wednesday (March 31). The exhibition provides an intimate look at Mitchell's work on paper created during a 36-year period and is held in conjunction with presentations of the artist's paintings at the New Orleans Museum of Art and prints at the Contemporary Arts Center.


The late artist Joan Mitchell is revered as one of the most successful female painters within the second generation of the abstract expressionist movement.

The opening of the exhibition will be followed by a three-day symposium (April 9–11) that will serve as a citywide tribute to Mitchell, co-organized by the Newcomb Art Gallery and the Joan Mitchell Foundation.

Held at the Newcomb Art Gallery, the New Orleans Museum of Art and the Contemporary Arts Center, the symposium will explore different facets of Mitchell's body of work, including her paintings, works on paper and prints. The events "will feature artists, art historians and screenings of select films on Mitchell and will culminate with a discussion among those who knew her personally," says Teresa Parker Farris, marketing coordinator for the Newcomb Art Gallery.

The Newcomb Art Gallery is featuring 40 of Mitchell's pieces, including two major paintings and two sketchbooks. The artist shines as one of the most successful female painters within the second generation of the abstract expressionism movement.

"She was friends with Kline, Rothko and De Kooning and wanted to paint in their mode," says Michael D. Plante, associate professor of art history and adviser for the exhibition.

Mitchell's works are lyrical and charged with emotion, as if they were poems visually mapped by gestural brushstrokes. Her "extraordinary drawings" encourage people to "rethink the role of women in art history," Plante says.

A reception for the exhibition will take place in the Woldenberg Art Center breezeway 5:30–7:30 p.m., on Saturday, April 10, immediately following the gallery symposium. Both events are free and open to the public, but space is limited for the symposium, and early registration is recommended.

Mary Cross is a senior majoring in communication at Tulane.