Lady Painters: Inspired by Joan Mitchell
June 7, 2019 – July 19, 2019
Second Street Gallery presented its first exhibition honoring one of the principal figures of the second generation of Abstract Expressionism. This show, Lady Painters: Inspired by Joan Mitchell, was on view from June 7 to July 19 in the Main Gallery.
Joan Mitchell is recognized as one of the most significant artists in Post-War American Art. A leading figure in the New York School and second generation Abstract Expressionist movement, Mitchell is known for the compositional rhythms, bold coloration, and sweeping gestural brushstrokes of her large and multi-paneled paintings. Taking its title from the 2011 biography by Patricia Albers, this exhibition examined the lasting influence that Joan Mitchell has had on women artists who continue to work in the abstract expressionist style of painting. Artists participating in the exhibition included: Isabelle Abbot, Karen Blair, Janet Bruce, and Priscilla Long Whitlock of Virginia, as well as Molly Herman, a native of Alexandria, Virginia who now lives and works in New York City.
The highlight of the exhibition was the inclusion of two rarely seen original works of art by Joan Mitchell, on loan to Second Street Gallery from The Fralin Museum at the University of Virginia. The Untitled works, a painting and a work on paper both dated 1957, are important compositions from a significant year in Joan Mitchell’s oeuvre.
“The inclusion of these works will add immeasurably to the visual and scholarly distinction of Second Street Gallery’s exhibition,” says Executive Director and Chief Curator, Kristen Chiacchia. “It was my goal to include at least one original work by Joan Mitchell in this exhibition, and give these artists, who have looked to Mitchell for inspiration in their own career, the opportunity to finally exhibit alongside the artist.”
Matthew McLendon, the J. Sanford Miller Family Director of The Fralin Museum of Art, shared Chiacchia’s enthusiasm for the partnership with SSG, “It is a pleasure loaning two works by Joan Mitchell to this important exhibition at Second Street Gallery celebrating her continuing influence. As a vital bridge between the University of Virginia and the wider Charlottesville community, The Fralin Museum of Art is honored to be partnering with one of our community’s most valued cultural assets.”
A special Fundraiser & Sponsor Preview Party was held on Thursday, May 30 from 5:30-7:30pm. The Sponsor Preview Party gave supporters of Second Street Gallery's Lady Painters exhibition an opportunity to come together to celebrate the artists and preview the exhibition. Anyone who purchased a ticket at the $100 level or above is now recognized as a sponsor of Lady Painters on our exhibition title wall in the gallery, up for the duration of the show. An opening reception for the exhibition was held on First Friday, June 7 from 5:30-7:30pm, with remarks from Executive Director & Chief Curator Kristen Chiacchia at 6:30pm. The opening was a great success and brought over 500 people from the community together to appreciate fine art. The gallery also held a closing reception and artists' talk on Friday, July 19, featuring Isabelle Abbot, Priscilla Long Whitlock, Lyn Bolen Warren, and Kristen Chiacchia.
The FUNd at CACF, Les Yeux du Monde Gallery, & The Fralin Museum of art at the University of Virginia
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