THE GREAT WOMEN ARTISTS
Eileen Myles on Joan Mitchell
Aug 24th, 2021 | S6
EPISODE DESCRIPTION SNIPPET
"WELCOME BACK TO SEASON 6 OF THE GWA PODCAST!
In episode 65 of The Great Women Artists Podcast, Katy Hessel interviews the acclaimed poet EILEEN MYLES on the legendary painter, JOAN MITCHELL!
A resident of New York City since 1974, Eileen Myles has been one of the greatest living poets of the last few decades. Their recent poem Eight Poems and Joan Mitchell’s City Landscape, is featured in the most extensive book of Joan Mitchell to date (published by Yale University Press: https://yalebooks.yale.edu/book/9780300247275/joan-mitchell); a text exploring Myles’s own relationship to the late great artist, whose tough, bold, gestural, almost indestructible 1955 painting, City Landscape, is described by them as “bitch work. It’s tooth and claw”.
One of the foremost Abstract Expressionist painters, Joan Mitchell was born in 1925 in Chicago. A competitive figure skater as a kid, Mitchell entered the NY art scene in 1950, and a year later, exhibited in the iconic 1951 Ninth Street Show.
A frequenter of the hard-drinking Cedar Tavern, immersed in the NY 50s poetry scene (she was a great friend of Frank O'Hara) and famed for her feisty personality, as a painter Mitchell was a genius at transforming paint into gusts of light, energy and movement.Applying her oils with strokes that varied from feathery and translucent to thick and aggressive, she looked to the French Impressionists for influence.
Whereas in the first half of the 1950s, Mitchell’s work resembled lyrical, loosely formed shapes, as the decade progressed(following her regular travels to France from ‘55), her work transformed into more intense compositions. At times working on paintings far taller than she was, you can almost imagine her jumping up, fighting the work with industrial, heavyweight brushes.
Whether it be rage at the system or anger at her father, the vigour of her gesture proves her worthy of being recognised as one of the greatest artists of the 20th century. Not to mention the dazzling tones these paintings emits. Witness one in the flesh, and you get lost in her world.
As one of the leading poets ALIVE, Myles's take on Mitchell is fascinating -- listen out for the poem they wrote about preparing for the podcast too!.."
Click here to find out more and listen: https://podcasts.apple.com/gb/podcast/eileen-myles-on-joan-mitchell/id1480259187?i=1000533030729