Mary Gabriel: Ninth Street Women: Lee Krasner, Elaine de Kooning, Grace Hartigan, Joan Mitchell, and Helen Frankenthaler
In this expansive and timely study, Mary Gabriel chronicles the lives and careers of five ambitious women who revolutionized postwar art in the United States: Lee Krasner, Elaine de Kooning, Grace Hartigan, Joan Mitchell, and Helen Frankenthaler. Each dared to enter the male-dominated art world of the era and pursued her own profoundly original vision, eventually coming to be recognized as a defining member of the New York School. The book derives its title from the groundbreaking Ninth Street show organized by artists in 1951, in which all five participated.
Beginning with accounts of Krasner and de Kooning from the 1920s through the late 1940s, Gabriel introduces a new generation—Hartigan, Frankenthaler, and Mitchell—and follows the five artists through the rapid changes of 1950s New York. Ninth Street Women presents a compelling group portrait informed by over two hundred interviews, in-depth archival research, and scores of other sources. Gabriel weaves a social and cultural history of the roles women played in postwar American society into her narrative of these five artists, establishing essential context in this vibrant chronicle of their fascinating lives and artistic production.