Some might say that abstract expressionism is just a bunch of scribbles on a piece of canvas, but the women of the Abstract Expressionism exhibit at the Denver Art Museum had visions and stories to tell behind each of their works. This exhibit was the dream of curator Gwen Chanzit, who worked on this exhibit for eight years before it finally opened. This new exhibit titled Women’s Abstract Expression, features twelve women artists who for the most part were not well known.
In reality, abstract expressionism is not a bunch of scribbles. ‘Abstract Expressionist paintings are expressions of self. While there is not one style, Abstract Expressionist canvases are known for loose brushwork,’ this definition of abstract expressionism is on the wall as you enter the exhibit. What I learned from my visit, is that each artist has her own movement, style and ways of painting.
One of the women whose work is on display is Lee Krasner. Lee Krasner was married to a better known abstract artist. Shannon Robb said, “ They weren’t working as a reaction to the men, they were working alongside the men.” “I’m always going to be Mrs. Jackson Pollock that’s a matter of fact- (but) I painted before Pollock, during Pollock, after Pollock,”stated Lee Krasner. One of the reasons behind the exhibit was to highlight the work of women during a time period when it was all about the men.
Most of these women featured in the exhibit got their inspiration from major events in their lives, in history or through other pieces of art. For instance, One of my favorite paintings was titled The King is Dead by Grace Hartigan and is based off of Picasso’s death.
For someone who didn’t know anything about abstract expressionism I learned a great deal walking through this exhibit. It is definitely worth the money. This exhibit runs through September 25 and is included in the price of admission.