Joan Mitchell Sarah Roberts, Katy Siegel, Paul Auster, Gisele Barreau, Eric de Chassey, Jennifer Hickey, David Reed, Eileen Myles, Richard Shiff, Joyce Pensato, Jenni Quilter

Publication date:
12 Jan 2021
Yale University Press
384 pages: 292 x 254mm
350 color + b-w illus., with 4 gatefolds
Sales territories:

A sweeping retrospective exploring the oeuvre of an incandescent artist, revealing the ways that Mitchell expanded painting beyond Abstract Expressionism as well as the transatlantic contexts that shaped her

Joan Mitchell (1925–1992) was fearless in her experimentation, creating works of unparalleled beauty, strength, and emotional intensity. This gorgeous book unfolds the story of an artistic master of the highest order, revealing the ways she expanded abstract painting and illuminating the transatlantic contexts that shaped her. Lavish illustrations cover the full arc of her artistic practice, from her exceptional New York paintings of the early 1950s to the majestic multipanel compositions she made in France later in her career. Signature works are represented here along with rarely seen paintings, works on paper, artist’s sketchbooks, and photographs of Mitchell’s life, social circle, and surroundings.
Featuring scholarly texts, in-depth essays, and artistic and literary responses, this book is organized in ten chronological chapters. Each chapter centers on a closely related suite of paintings, illuminating a shifting inner landscape colored by experience, sensation, memory, and a deep sense of place. Presenting groundbreaking research and a variety of perspectives on her art, life, and connections to poetry and music, this unprecedented volume is an essential reference for Mitchell’s admirers and those just discovering her work.

Sarah Roberts is Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Curator of Painting and Sculpture at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Katy Siegel is Senior Programming and Research Curator at the Baltimore Museum of Art and Eugene V. and Clare E. Thaw Endowed Chair in Modern American Art at Stony Brook University, New York.

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
(September 4, 2021–January 17, 2022)
Baltimore Museum of Art
(March 6–August 14, 2022)
Fondation Louis Vuitton 
(October 5, 2022–February 27, 2023)

"Joan Mitchell... does justice to an artist... with grand ambitions and a formidable control of paint."—Matthew Holman, The Art Newspaper

“One of the most stupendous art books in my collection”—Anna Murphy, The Times


“The beauty of a lovingly curated monograph such as this is that when dozens of images are accrued in one place, the subtle shifts in execution and the development of an artist's visual language becomes clearer. Joan Mitchell emerges as a fascinating character and underappreciated 20th-century talent.”—Artists & Illustrators ‘Book of the Month’