Search for over 80 million sold items in our price database

My Plant
Sold
My Plant
Sold

My Plant

US
NY, US
US

About the item

Well-known for compositional rhythms, bold coloration and sweeping gestural brushstrokes within large paintings, Joan Mitchell found inspiration in landscape, nature and poetry. Her intent was not to create recognizable imagery but to convey emotions, as evidenced by her abstract canvas My Plant. Mitchell’s energetic brushstrokes found its place with the raucous world of New York Abstract Expressionism. This large canvas, with its striking union of line, color and form clearly demonstrates the unique language that Mitchell had developed; carefully considered, yet unfettered by the need for figuration. Initially overshadowed by the work of her male contemporaries, Mitchell's unique artistic voice quickly developed into a clear and forthright form of expression. Mitchell often said that she did not paint from memory, but rather she painted the memory itself. The dramatic visual presentation of her resulting canvases allowed her work to be judged equally against those of her male colleagues. Rising to prominence as a student of the American Abstract Expressionist movement in the late 1940s after studying at the Art Institute of Chicago, Mitchell exploded onto the scene with the 1951 “Ninth Street Show.” Curated by Leo Castelli, the show consolidated the work of prominent New York School artists for the first time. Mitchell’s painting hung alongside those of Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning, and many others, establishing her place in this formidable field. After being awarded a traveling fellowship in the early 1950s, Mitchell moved to Paris and surrounded herself with the work of Paul Cézanne, Henri Matisse, Claude Monet and other European Post-Impressionists and Modernists. Their interest in the emotional creation of a transmuted object, which overpowered physical forms, as well as their use of color, brushwork, and structure of the works, resonated with Mitchell. In 1959 she moved to Paris from New York and summered in various Mediterranean locations over the next several years. There, inspired by her new surroundings, Mitchell developed a highly personal painterly style - reflected in the stunning vibrancy of My Plant, and in her other work from the period. The tensions of color, gesture, and ground, as well as a postwar existential attitude, reflect the great influence of the European masters who preceded her. However, Mitchell maintained her independence from both the American and European avant-gardes by keeping close the influence of the early landscapists.\n\nMitchell’s canvases moved away from the solidified blocks of color that had been inspired by the Post-Impressionists or Cubists and began to develop into areas of more full-bodied color that were interwoven with dense webs of horizontal lines that float across areas of white fields. The inspiration she drew from her artistic surroundings provided her with the emotional connection to fuel her subtle and energetic compositions. Mitchell’s harmonious use of color is an unleashed expression of the feelings she uses to paint them.\nA poet’s painter, Joan Mitchell was a lifelong reader of key poets and literary figures. Like these writers, Mitchell expresses through her painting a complex interplay of emotion, memory, and sense of place. As evidenced by the abstract depiction of green brushstrokes in conveying My Plant, Mitchell was less concerned with realistic depiction, which appeared before her (literal plants), and primarily concerned with the feeling derived both from its creation and its experience.\nTrue to her Abstract Expressionist beliefs, Mitchell never felt the need to emulate the physical landscape. She is often deemed a Romantic Landscapist, who drew upon the tradition of twentieth Century painting and nineteenth Century poetry to create her efflorescent canvases. Evoking the style of many of the great landscape painters of the past, including the nineteenth century master J.M.W. Turner, My Plant demonstrates Mitchell’s skill at elevating into oil paint the feelings that the landscape evoked in her. She took inspiration from natural beauty, painting impressions of myriad landscapes and other environmental sources of color and surface.\nConsistent with Mitchell’s work in the 1960s and 1970s, My Plant shows a greater thickness of brushstrokes, containing lush and unapologetic textures. Thick swaths of hunter greens and dashes of red and blue intertwine, mimicking the complexity of Mitchell’s deepest emotions and innermost feelings. Mitchell often asserted the intentionality of every stroke, that her work was not simply blind experimentation in action painting, unlike her male contemporaries.\nAnother hallmark of Mitchell’s work is the space and air she created around her brushstrokes, granting the pigment and forms enough room to breathe and expand. The exposed canvas along the surrounding edges of the present lot forms a frame around the matter at the core of the composition, lending it a powerful presence, which seems to pulsate with each stroke.\nSigned; signed on the reverse; titled on the stretcher
US
NY, US
US

medium

Oil on canvas

creator

Joan Mitchell

condition

This work is in very good condition overall. There is evidence of wear and handling toward the edges, including fingerprint marks that appear to be by the artist's hand and inherent to the artist's working method. There are spots of hairline craquelure in the areas of thick impasto. Some dust has accumulated on the thickly painted areas. Under Ultraviolet light inspection, there is no evidence of restoration. Framed. *Please note the auction begins at 9:30 am on November 14th.* In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective qualified opinion. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING CONDITION OF A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE PRINTED IN THE CATALOGUE.

dimensions

76 1/2 by 51 1/4 in. 194.3 by 130.2 cm.

exhibition

Atlanta, High Museum of Art, Contemporary Art in Atlanta Collections, April - May 1976 Washington, D.C., Corcoran Gallery of Art; San Francisco Museum of Art; Buffalo, Albright-Knox Art Gallery; La Jolla Museum of Contemporary Art; Ithaca, Cornell University, Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, The Paintings of Joan Mitchell: Thirty–Six Years of Natural Expressionism, February 1988 - April 1989

literature

Judith E. Bernstock, Joan Mitchell, New York, 1988, p. 70, illustrated

provenance

Xavier Fourcade, Inc., New York Robert Fusillo, Atlanta Mr. and Mrs. Michael Terry, Atlanta Acquired by the present owner from the above in 1980

signedDate

Signed; signed on the reverse; titled on the stretcher

creator_nationality_dates

1925 - 1992


*Note: The price is not recalculated to the current value. It refers to the actual final price at the time the item was sold.

*Note: The price is not recalculated to the current value. It refers to the actual final price at the time the item was sold.


Advert
Advert

Sold items

Plant de tomates
Sold

Plant de tomates

Realized Price
21,070,749 USD

Plant de tomates
Sold

Plant de tomates

Realized Price
13,456,000 USD

Plant de tomate
Withdrawn

Plant de tomate

Realized Price
9,882,500 USD

PLANT DE TOMATE
Sold

PLANT DE TOMATE

Realized Price
6,840,000 USD

Carafe et plant de tomate
Sold

Carafe et plant de tomate

Realized Price
4,116,185 USD

Black Still Life with Yellow Orchid
Sold

Black Still Life with Yellow Orchid

Realized Price
2,055,000 USD

Sold

Plant de tomate

Realized Price
1,982,500 USD

Sold

Plant on Yellow Cloth

Realized Price
1,572,500 USD

Sold

My Other Plant

Realized Price
1,426,500 USD

Sold

La Maison à travers les roses

Realized Price
1,035,000 USD