Joan Mitchell was born in 1925 in Chicago in a wealthy family. Very soon, she gets interested in arts. In 1942, she takes classes at the Smith College for 2 years, then registers at the Art Institute of Chicago where she graduates. Next, she studies at the Hans Hofmann School (New York). Joan Mitchell travels to France, Spain and Italy. During the 50s, she is considered essential to the New York School and is definetely part of the new artists’ generation such as Pollock and Rothko. At first, her work is influenced by Van Gogh, Cézanne, Kandinsky then later by Franz Kline and Willem de Kooning. Joan Mitchell is part of the –second generation- abstract expressionist movement. In 1955, Joan Mitchell settles in France to come close to his lover Jean-Paul Riopelle, the Canadian painter with whom she had a long, rich and stormy relationship. They first lived in Paris before moving to Vétheuil. It is in this village along the Seine that Joan Mitchell dies in 1992. The following year a foundation helping young artists is created in New York in her memory.
Bibliography : « The paintings of Joan Mitchell », Jane Livingston, Ed. University of California Press, Berkeley, 2002.