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Joan Mitchell Paints a Picture

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Irving Sandler's studio visit with painter Joan Mitchell, Part of the seminal Paints a Picture series, re-printed as part of the ARTnews 110 anniversary.

Sandler witnesses the creation of two paintings by Mitchell, writing: "if nature supplies the raw material, [Mitchell] then sifts it through memory to convert it into the essential matter of her art. But not all remembered scenes are equally significant. There are those fleeting moments, those 'almost supernatural states of soul,' as Baudelaire called them, during which 'the profundity of life is entirely revealed in any scene, however ordinary, that presents itself before one. The scene becomes its symbol.' Miss Mitchell attempts to paint this sign, to re-create both the recalled landscape and the frame of mind she was in originally. Memory, as a storehouse of indelible images, becomes her creative domain."

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