Object Image

City Landscape

Although influenced by Abstract Expressionist artists in New York in the early 1950s, Joan Mitchell did not prioritize self-expression: her often exuberant abstractions were “about landscape, not about me,” she once explained. Mitchell painted large, light-filled canvases animated by loosely applied skeins of bright color—here infused with the energy of a large metropolis.

The title suggests a relationship between the painting’s network of pigments and the nerves or arteries of an urban space. The sense of spontaneity conveyed in City Landscape, however, belies Mitchell’s methods. Unlike many of her contemporaries, who were dubbed “action painters,” Mitchell worked slowly and deliberately. “I ...

Oil on linen
203.2 x 203.2cm
Image © The Estate of Joan Mitchell, 2019

Text courtesy of Art Institute of Chicago, 2019

Where you'll find this

Art Institute of Chicago
Permanent collection