How are contemporary artists rediscovering Lee Krasner's work?

By Barbican Centre

Colour, energy and expression - we meet three artists to hear their reflections on Krasner's work after a visit to Lee Krasner: Living Colour exhibition, in collaboration with Katy Hessel from The Great Women Artists. 

Installation view of Lee Krasner: Living Colour at the Barbican Art Gallery, London - feautring Chrysalis, 1964 and Portrait in Green, 1969 (2019/2019) by Lee Krasner, Barbican Centre, and Tristan Fewings / Getty ImagesBarbican Centre

Inspiring a generation

While Lee Krasner's name was too often overshadowed by her husband Jackson Pollock in the art history books, those who experience her work are sure to find her creativity, passion and determination inspiring. As part of the Barbican's 'Lee Krasner: Living Colour' exhibition, we collaborated with Katy Hessel aka The Great Women Artists, to meet three contemporary artists - Chantal Joffe, Flora Yukhnovich and Jadé Fadojutimi - who are discovering Krasner's work for the first time to explore the parallels between their work and their experience as artists. 

Still from an interview between artist Chantal Joffe and The Great Women Artists (aka Katy Hessel) for the Barbican's Lee Krasner: Living Colour exhibition (2019/2019) by Barbican Centre and Lee KrasnerBarbican Centre

Chantal Joffe

Chantal Joffe RA is an American-born English artist based in London. Her often large-scale paintings generally depict women and children. In 2006, she received the prestigious Charles Wollaston Award from the Royal Academy.

She was always looking for something new' // Chantal Joffe x Katy Hessel on Lee Krasner (2019/2019) by Barbican Centre and Lee KrasnerBarbican Centre

Chantal Joffe on Lee Krasner

We meet artist Chantal Joffe in her studio as she talks to Katy Hessel (founder of The Great Women Artists) about Lee Krasner's life, her paintings and what this new exhibition of her works mean for her.

Self-Portrait, c. 1928 © Pollock-Krasner Foundation (1928/1928) by Lee Krasner and The Pollock-Krasner FoundationBarbican Centre

'You absolutely feel her, you can hear her voice'

Chantal Joffe on Lee Krasner

Installation view of Lee Krasner: Living Colour at the Barbican Art Gallery, London (2019/2019) by Lee Krasner, Barbican Centre, and Tristan Fewings / Getty ImagesBarbican Centre

'It made me want to go back into the studio and draw - it's really grounded in drawing'

Chantal Joffe on Lee Krasner: Living Colour exhibition.

Installation view of Lee Krasner: Living Colour at the Barbican Art Gallery, London - featuring Through Blue, 1963 (2019/2019) by Lee Krasner, Barbican Centre, and Tristan Fewings / Getty ImagesBarbican Centre

'In 'Through Blue', her arm was broken and she taught herself to paint with her left hand - I love that painting'

Chantal Joffe on Lee Krasner

Still from an interview between artist Flora Yukhnovich and The Great Women Artists (aka Katy Hessel) for the Barbican's Lee Krasner: Living Colour exhibition (2019/2019) by Barbican Centre and Lee KrasnerBarbican Centre

Flora Yukhnovich

Flora Yukhnovich is a London-based artist who graduated from the City and Guilds of London Art School in 2017. Recent paintings use the language of the Rococo to examine notions of femininity, exploring its aesthetic expressions throughout art history and finding connections within contemporary popular culture.

I think of her work as quite sensual' // Flora Yukhnovich x Katy Hessel on Lee Krasner (2019/2019) by Barbican Centre and Lee KrasnerBarbican Centre

Flora Yukhnovich on Lee Krasner

In the second of a series of three videos exploring contemporary artists’ responses to our Lee Krasner exhibition, we talk to artist Flora Yukhnovich to learn more about her practice and what Krasner’s work means to her

Prophecy, 1956 © Pollock-Krasner Foundation (1956/1956) by Lee Krasner and The Pollock-Krasner FoundationBarbican Centre

'I'm really interested in the way that Figuration and Abstraction work together'

Flora Yukhnovich on Lee Krasner

Painting Portrait in Green in her studio, Springs, 1969 (1969/1969) by Lee KrasnerBarbican Centre

'I think it's amazing when you can use your whole body to paint. I like painting really big because it feels like a challenge - your whole body's engaged and you feel a sense of adrenaline at having to conquer this massive thing that's there, looming over you'

Flora Yukhnovich on Lee Krasner

Still from an interview between artist Jade Fadojutimi and The Great Women Artists (aka Katy Hessel) for the Barbican's Lee Krasner: Living Colour exhibition (2019/2019) by Barbican Centre and Lee KrasnerBarbican Centre

Jadé Fadojutimi

Jadé Fadojutimi is an abstract artist who graduated from Slade School of Art in 2017.The artist cites Varda Caivano and Phoebe Unwin among her points of reference, but she has created a lexicon of form and mark-making that is emphatically all her own. 

The whole show feels like one painting' // Jadé Fadojutimi x Katy Hessel on Lee Krasner (2019/2019) by Barbican Centre and Lee KrasnerBarbican Centre

Jadé Fadojutimi on Lee Krasner

In the third and final episode of our series of contemporary artists’ responses to our Lee Krasner exhibition, we talk to artist Jadé Fadojutimi to hear about the impact Krasner's work has had on her as an artist particularly their connection over colour.

Installation view of Lee Krasner: Living Colour at the Barbican Art Gallery, London featuring Through Blue, 1963 and Another Storm, 1963 (2019/2019) by Lee Krasner, Barbican Centre, and Suzanne ZhangBarbican Centre

'The paintings were reacting to each other. Everything felt so natural'

Jadé Fadojutimi on Lee Krasner

Siren, 1966 © Pollock-Krasner Foundation (1966/1966) by Lee Krasner and The Pollock-Krasner FoundationBarbican Centre

'The titles were one of the most interesting parts of the show - I felt like I was going through a diary, a very simplistic diary'

Jadé Fadojutimi on Lee Krasner

Blue Level, 1955 © Pollock-Krasner Foundation (1955/1955) by Lee Krasner and The Pollock-Krasner FoundationBarbican Centre

'Colour always comes first. Colour is the first thing I always see and it's how I make a lot of choices in life'

Jadé Fadojutimi

Credits: Story

Lee Krasner: Living Colour took place at the Barbican Art Gallery in London from 30 May—1 September 2019.

'Lee Krasner: Living Colour' celebrates the work and life of Lee Krasner (1908–1984), a pioneer of Abstract Expressionism. The first major presentation of her work in Europe for more than 50 years, 'Lee Krasner: Living Colour' tells the story of a formidable artist, whose importance has too often been eclipsed by her marriage to Jackson Pollock.

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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