Six women were speaking as Mary Gabriel gave her Art in Focus lecture last night at the Southampton campus library. Gabriel, the author of Ninth Street Women, was telling the lives of five artists who navigated the exhilarating, exhausting, and ecstatic post-World War II art world in New York City and beyond.
Lee Krasner, Elaine de Kooning, Ruth Hartigan, Joan Mitchell and Helen Frankenthaler were all accomplished artists in their own right but did not always get the recognition afforded their male colleagues -or, in Krasner’s and de Kooning’s cases, husbands. Gabriel documented the path of these women as each found themselves in the Greenwich Village of the 1950s, taking inspiration from the creative ferment of the times as abstract expressionism and other new forms evolved.
In bringing these stories to light, Gabriel did not feel like she was telling the female side of the story; she was telling the whole story. An intriguing part of that story was the disparities in the development of abstract art as a financial investment, something Gabriel explored further in her recent New York Times opinion piece “Want to Get Rich Buying Art? Invest in Women.”
Thank you to all those in the packed room who attended, despite the wet fall weather.
We have one more talk in the series, Elena Prohaska Glinn on her husband, Magnum photographer Burt Glinn, and his previously unpublished photographs of the Beat Generation in New York and San Francisco. If you are a fan of literature, photography or both, you won’t want to miss it.
The Art in Focus series is co-sponsored by Stony Brook University Libraries and the Pollock-Krasner House and Study Center and made possible by support from the John H. Marburger III Fund of Stony Brook University