Lot 135
  • 135

Lee Krasner

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  • Lee Krasner
  • Night Bloom
  • signed and dated '62
  • oil on linen
  • 56 1/4 by 56 in. 142.9 by 142.2 cm.


Estate of the Artist
Pollock-Krasner Foundation, New York


East Hampton, Guild Hall Museum, Then and Now: Early and Mature Examples of the Work of 25 20th Century American Artists, July - August 1963
East Hampton, Guild Hall Museum, Festival of the Arts Exhibition, April - May 1964
London, Whitechapel Art Gallery; Hull, Ferens Art Gallery; Nottingham, Victoria Street Gallery; Manchester, City Art Gallery; Cardiff, Arts Council Gallery, Lee Krasner, Paintings, Drawings and Collages, September 1965 - October 1966, cat. no. 49, illustrated
Tuscaloosa, University Art Gallery, University of Alabama, Paintings by Lee Krasner, February - March 1967, cat. no. 5
Houston, Janie C. Lee Gallery, Lee Krasner: Paintings 1956 - 1971, February - March 1981, cat. no. 6 (as Nightbloom #1)
Houston, Museum of Fine Arts; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Norfolk, VA, Chrysler Museum; Phoenix Art Museum; New York, Museum of Modern Art, Lee Krasner: A Retrospective Exhibition, November 1983 - February 1985
Houston, Meredith Long & Co., An Exhibition of Works by Lee Krasner Selected by Edward Albee, May 1991


Cindy Nemser, "A Conversation with Lee Krasner", Arts Magazine, April 1973, p. 48
Cindy Nemser, Art Talk: Conversations with 12 Women Artists, New York, 1975, p. 101
Ellen G. Landau, Lee Krasner: A Catalogue Raisonné, New York, 1995, cat. no. 368, p. 197, illustrated

Catalogue Note

As one of the few women in the predominantly male Abstract Expressionist movement that achieved notarity and commanded respect from her peers, Lee Krasner’s style was constantly evolving and changing course.  In 1959, Krasner embarked on a new series of works, The Night Journeys, influenced heavily by the recent deaths of both Jackson Pollock and her mother, on which she worked for the next three years.  Having moved back to Manhattan and plagued by insomnia which kept her painting late into the nights.  The present work, Nightbloom, 1962, is an emotionally intense painting that fully embodies the swirl of chaos surrounding Krasner at this time. 

Using a vibrant palette applied in a maelstrom of circular brushstrokes, Nightbloom, in both manner and title, suggests a rebirth, a resurgence from a dark period of life.  Painted towards the end of her work on the Night Journeys series, the present work captures an explosive moment of creative breakthrough.  The centrifical force created by the active brushstrokes draws the eye inward and around, imbibing the canvas with a  remarkable vitality.  The sprays of paint recall the ‘action painting’ of Pollock and one can easily envision the somnambulist painter attacking the canvas with a raw energy, producing a well-balanced composition bursting with pure gestural expression.  Nightbloom is a highly evocative work produced at a moment of time when Krasner emerged from the shadows of her famous husband and established herself as a highly talented and original painter in her own right.