Lee Krasner was born October 27th of 1908 in Brooklyn, New York. She became one of the most popular female artists of the 20th century. Krasner’s work, like many of her contemporaries of the time, is categorized as abstract expressionism. In her painting she stayed away from direct representation and sought solutions to the equations of space, color, rhythm, line, and shape within her work.
In 1926 she began classes at The Cooper Union in New York, where she studied painting. Shortly after in 1928 Krasner transferred to the National Academy of Design to better her education in the arts. Once out of school, Krasner found a job with the WPA Federal Art Project. Working for the WPA, she helped paint large scale murals for government programs. It was while working for the WPA that Krasner would cross paths with the charming Jackson Pollock, another up and coming artist of the time. In 1937, Krasner began to study with the very influential Hans Hofmann. During this time, Hofmann’s influence pushed Krasner towards neo-cubist abstraction. Hofmann commented on his pupils work saying, “This is so good you would not know it was painted by a woman”. After her studies with Hofmann she began to show with a group of artists known as the American Abstract Artists. Her work was received very well by the public, but did not receive instant praise.
In 1945, Lee Krasner got married to fellow artist Jackson Pollock. Together they moved to Springs, New York into a larger house to accommodate both of their practices. Being married to one of the most famous painters of the time in addition to being a female artist, Krasner often found herself struggling with her identity in the public eye. As a result, she signed a large number of her works under the genderless and Pollockless initials L.K. The two artists influenced one another a great deal and they both helped one another get through the periods of time where each other works were not well-appreciated. After Pollocks death in 1956, Krasner left in charge of their estate and worked tirelessly to keep her husbands reputation strong and his work relevant in the art world. She continued to live at their house in Spring while she continued to practice painting and grow in popularity.
Krasner died in June of 1984 at the age of 75. She is regarded by many, especially woman, as an inspirational figure in the art world of the 20th century. Due to Krasner’s methods of working and the fact that she had the tendency to throw out an entire series, her cumulative number of known works is rather small. It is because of this that her paintings have become very valuable but they do not come up for auction very often. The last Krasner Painting that was put on sale in 2003 sold for $1.9 Million dollars. The house that Krasner and Pollock shared has been converted into a museum and can be toured by visitors absolutely for free of charge, helping to keep the couples legacy thriving.