Joan Mitchell, American, Mooring, 1971, Oil on canvas; 241.3 x 180.3 cm (95 x 71 inches), Gift of Bayard and Harriet K. Ewing 1992.124
Widely known as a pioneer of the second generation Abstract Expressionist movement and one of the few women from this period to receive public praise for her work, Joan Mitchell expanded on the emotional intensity and gestural brushwork of her predecessors. Soon after she settled along the river Seine in France, Mitchell painted Mooring. Known as one of her “territory” paintings, it is marked by a juxtaposition of textures, ranging from heavily to thinly painted areas. A few sections of vibrant green and orange are applied so thickly that they appear raised above the surface. Darker patches of color juxtaposed directly against white suggest the importance of light.