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Abstract Expressionists: The Women cover image
UK £45.00
US $65.00
Hardback with jacket
256 pages
170 illustrations
28.9 x 25 cm (11.5 x 9.75 in)
ISBN: 978-1-8589-4703-7
Available now
Abstract Expressionists: The Women

Ellen G. Landau and Joan M. Marter

The dominant movement of the New York and San Francisco art scenes of the mid-20th century, Abstract Expressionism is celebrated as being the first major development in American art to gain international status. The movement is synonymous with the work of Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko and Willem de Kooning, but also belonging to this generation who changed the course of modern art were numerous female artists; only in recent years have their contributions begun to receive the recognition they deserve. The remarkable women featured in this exciting new book – among them Claire Falkenstein, Perle Fine, Grace Hartigan, Lee Krasner and Joan Mitchell – studied at the same art schools as the men, exhibited at the same galleries and were part of the same social scene. Yet, in an era that valued conformity, they remained largely in the shadow of their male counterparts. This magnificent publication presents the works of the Levett Collection, an unparalleled private collection of art by women Abstract Expressionists. Richly illustrated essays by Ellen G. Landau and Joan M. Marter consider, respectively, the vital role of women in the development of Abstract Expressionism and the work of women sculptors of the movement. Full of exuberant, explosive colour and densely layered expression, the main section of the book is devoted to more than 50 paintings, collages and sculptures, all accompanied by pertinent quotes from the women about their artistic practice and concerns. An illustrated timeline and 35 artist biographies provide further insight, making this volume an essential addition to the study of Abstract Expressionist women, innovators whose time in the spotlight has finally come.


A stunning selection of Abstract Expressionist works by women artists, including Elaine de Kooning, Dorothy Dehner, Helen Frankenthaler, Grace Hartigan, Lee Krasner, Joan Mitchell, Pat Passlof and Alma Thomas
With incisive essays by leading experts Ellen G. Landau and Joan M. Marter on the contributions of women to this major movement in American art
Artworks are accompanied by quotes from the artists that illuminate their inspirations, techniques and experiences
Published to coincide with an exhibition opening at the Whitechapel Gallery, London, in February 2023, then travelling to France and Germany


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Author Profiles

Ellen G. Landau, Andrew W. Mellon Professor Emerita in the Humanities, Case Western Reserve University, is an independent art historian and curator based in Pasadena, California. She writes widely on Abstract Expressionism, with a specialism in Jackson Pollock and Lee Krasner, including co-curating a joint retrospective in Switzerland in 1989 and authoring Krasner’s catalogue raisonné in 1995. She annotated the movement’s historiography in Reading Abstract Expressionism: Context and Critique (2005) and organized a travelling retrospective of Mercedes Matter (2009–11). Her recent studies include the reciprocal portraits of Elaine and Willem de Kooning, for the exhibition catalogue Women of Abstract Expressionism (Denver Art Museum, 2016); Krasner’s charcoals (Kasmin Gallery, 2019); and the rediscovery of Michael West (Hollis Taggart, 2019 and 2021).

Joan M. Marter is Distinguished Professor Emerita at Rutgers University. She was curator of the exhibition Women and Abstract Expressionism at Baruch College, City University of New York, and the Guild Hall Museum, East Hampton, in 1997; co-organizer of Women of Abstract Expressionism at the Denver Art Museum in 2016 and editor of the accompanying catalogue; and curator of Abstract Expressionism Revisited at the Guild Hall Museum in 2019. Her books include Abstract Expressionism: The International Context (as editor, 2007) and numerous publications on women artists. Dr. Marter is editor of Woman’s Art Journal.

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