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Lee Krasner

A Biography

Gail Levin

Out of stock


The first full length account of Lee Krasner’s colourful life


Lee Krasner’s stirring work and charismatic personality could have made her a superstar of the Abstract Expressionist generation. Yet for years she was better known as Jackson Pollock’s wife, her art ignored and her story mistold. Gail Levin redresses the balance with this engrossing biography of the pioneering painter, firebrand and trailblazer for women’s rights. Her personal interviews, original research and lucid prose restore Krasner’s voice and illuminate an exceptional artist who led a truly fascinating life.


'Beautifully evokes a period in American art that laid the groundwork for the women artists of today'
Erica Jong

'[Levin’s] book, dense with documentation and quotations from letters and interviews, is the culmination of decades of scholarship, advocacy and even friendship with Krasner … empathetic and insightful … Krasner comes wonderfully alive, especially in her own words, in Levin’s pages'
Literary Review

'Rigorous research, deep knowledge of art and cultural history, penetrating analysis and a flair for storytelling bring to life a fully formed Lee Krasner. Those who never knew her will wish they had, and those who did will be amazed'
Helen A. Harrison, Director of the Pollock-Krasner House and Study Center

'[Draws] on her close personal relationship with the painter and a multitude of interviews … impressively researched'

'An insightful, sharply drawn portrait of 20th-century America from a vantage point of a creative woman swept up in a realm of remarkable artistic productivity'
Wall Street Journal

'Compelling ... Gail Levin has drawn on her close association with Lee Krasner and extensive research to produce a biography that rings fair and true'
Los Angeles Times

'Art historian Gail Levin's Lee Krasner is a quintuple whammy of a biography--the story of a major artist; a description of a notorious marriage; an education in 20th-century art; a gossipy immersion into Bohemian New York; and a settling of scores against those who practiced gender bias'
O, The Oprah Magazine

'Lee Krasner has for a long time been poorly served. She deserves better and she has it here'

'Unfairly maligned as simply “Mrs Jackson Pollock”, this weighty first biography reveals a pioneering painter who campaigned for women’s rights and created abstract art that pulsed with life'
Artists & Illustrators

'Packed with important insight into the post-war American art scene, this is a fitting tribute to an extraordinary woman'
The Lady

'An engrossing, uplifting story of personal and creative survival, against a bright backcloth of mid-century America'
Jackie Wullshläger’s Art Books of the Year, Financial Times

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Product Information

Book Details

Format: Paperback

Size: 19.8 x 12.9 cm

Extent: 560 pp

Publication date: 23 May 2019

ISBN: 9780500295281

About the Author

Gail Levin is Distinguished Professor of Art History, American Studies, Women’s Studies, and Liberal Studies at Baruch College and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. She has written books on Edward Hopper, abstract expressionism, feminist art and American modernist art.