Joan Mitchell - Bedford II
American, 1926 - 1992
Bedford II, 1981
Lithograph, 42.5 x 32.5 inches
Artist Proof 12 (from an edition of 70)
Tyler Graphics Ltd.

Gift of Judy and J.D. Williamson II (BBA '67, MBA '68)

Born in Chicago in 1925, Mitchell was one of the most influential women of her time, along with Helen Frankenthaler and Grace Hartigan. She was known as a Second Generation Abstract Expressionist painter. One of her main influences was landscapes, although her pieces were abstractions of her feelings about these landscapes. She often painted on un-primed canvas with violent brushwork that was very emotional.

Bedford II is from a suite of ten color lithographs that Mitchell produced in collaboration with the great print master Kenneth Tyler. Tyler Graphics was originally housed in a building adjacent to Tyler's country home outside of Bedford, New York. The various sub-groups in the print series - Bedford, Sides of a River, Flower and Brush - refer to the natural setting surrounding the workshop. Mitchell is perhaps the best known painter of the second generation of Abstract Expressionists. In Bedford II, Mitchell creates a dense network of crayon lines that in their colorful spontaneity suggest the rhythms of natural growth. Always taking her inspiration from nature, her vision is not unlike that of Claude Monet, although in abstract terms. Mitchell spent the last three decades of her life living and making art in Giverny, the village west of Paris made famous for the location of Monet's estate.