102-3/8 x 70-3/4 in. (canvas) 104-1/2 x 72-7/8 x 2-1/2 in. (framed)
Signed in pencil, lower left: Joan Mitchell
Gift of Ann M. Stack in honor of Holly Day, former Senior Curator of Contemporary Art, and Bret Waller, former Director, Indianapolis Museum of Art
Acquired from the Artist, Paris; Martha Jackson Gallery, New York, New York; Private Collection, Quebec, Ontario; Gallery Moos, Toronto, Ontario; Anderson Gallery, Buffalo, New York; Ann M. and Chris Stack, Indianapolis, Indiana; given to the Indianapolis Museum of Art, in 1998.
The title of this painting refers to snow and flowers, an unlikely natural landscape that is conjured by the colors and textures of this work: broad circular areas of yellow, blue, red, and green paint in the upper and middle portions of the canvas suggest bright flowers popping up through a thick blanket of snow. Joan Mitchell's dynamic brushstrokes and the vertical patterns of dripping paint reveal the presence of the artist by alerting the viewer to the physical act of painting.
Areas of heavily applied yellow, red, blue, and green paint vibrate behind and on top of a primarily white canvas. The title,Diabolo (neige et fleurs), refers to snow (neige) and flowers (fleurs) in French, evoking an abstract winter landscape in which bright flowers emerge from under a blanket of snow.
Like Lee Krasner (whose workTowards One is on view in this gallery), Joan Mitchell was one of only a few female Abstract Expressionist artists. Mitchell, too, emerged as a principal figure, achieving recognition for her expansive, intense, and emotionally charged paintings. Her dynamic compositions and impasto paint reveal the presence of the artist, calling the viewer’s attention to the physical act of painting.
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