Loom II, 1976
Oil on canvas
76¾ x 44¾ inches
Acknowledged as one of the great abstract expressionists, Joan Mitchell was born in Chicago and studied at the School of the Art Institute. She moved to New York and at age 26 was included in Leo Castelli’s groundbreaking show of the city’s avant-garde artists. She moved to France in 1955 with painter Jean-Paul Riopelle, with whom she had a stormy relationship until 1979.
Loom II bridges Mitchell’s dramatic paintings from the 1950s and her love of the French countryside that inspired her works from the 1960s on. While its technique is characteristic of abstract expressionism, this lyrical and elegant work typifies much of Mitchell’s work after she relocated to the more tranquil surroundings of France. Much like Monet—whose work and estate at Vétheuil inspired her—Mitchell presents an abstract vision of the countryside but adds deep emotion and sense of joy with every stroke.