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Episode #35: Rivals- Lee Krasner and Elaine de Kooning vs. Their Husbands

Episode #35: Rivals- Lee Krasner and Elaine de Kooning vs. Their Husbands

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Anyone familiar with Abstract Expressionism will tell you that this art movement was one where all the insiders or practitioners were more closely involved than many other art movements.  Such close confines also made for some serious rivalries, too. But there were other artists who were more intimately involved with one another and their artistic process-- they were married, or were lovers. Such is the case with both Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning --both of whom married women who were incredible artists in their own right. Interestingly, and sadly, when these two spouses are mentioned, it’s very rare that we are treated to sincere commentary just about their works of art. More often than not, we are, instead, given explanations of how these women measure up to their (admittedly more famous) husbands, and are relegated either to a supporting role, or just plain seen as not good enough in comparison. Why is it that such talented women continue to have their posthumous careers and stories marked and shaped by their husbands?  

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Episode Credits

Production and Editing by Kaboonki. Theme music by Alex Davis.  Social media assistance by Emily Crockett. Additional research and writing for this episode by Patricia Gomes.

ArtCurious is sponsored by Anchorlight, an interdisciplinary creative space, founded with the intent of fostering artists, designers, and craftspeople at varying stages of their development. Home to artist studios, residency opportunities, and exhibition space Anchorlight encourages mentorship and the cross-pollination of skills among creatives in the Triangle.

Additional music credits

"Song Sparrow" by Chad Crouch is licensed under BY-NC 3.0; "Converging Lines" by David Hilowitz is licensed under BY-NC 4.0; "Today, Tomorrow, & The Sun Rising" by Julie Maxwell is licensed under BY-ND 4.0; "Is everything of this is true?" by Komiku is licensed under CC0 1.0 Universal License; "Fantasy in my mind" by Alan Špiljak is licensed under BY-NC-ND 4.0. Ad Music: "Hello September" by Proviant Audio is licensed under BY-NC-ND 3.0 US; "The Valley" by  Dee Yan-Key is licensed under  BY-NC-SA 4.0; "Galaxies" by Split Phase is licensed under BY-NC-SA 3.0 US

Links and further resources

Ninth Street Women: Lee Krasner, Elaine de Kooning, Grace Hartigan, Joan Mitchell, and Helen Frankenthaler: Five Painters and the Movement That Changed Modern Art, Mary Gabriel

The Art Story: Lee Krasner

Artsy: "The Emotionally Charged Paintings Lee Krasner Created After Pollock's Death"

Smithsonian Magazine: "Why Elaine de Kooning Sacrificed Her Own Amazing Career for Her More Famous Husband's"

National Portrait Gallery Blog: "Elaine de Kooning's JFK" 

NPR: "For Artist Elaine de Kooning, Painting was a Verb, not a Noun"

Episode #36: Rivals- Turner vs.Constable

Episode #36: Rivals- Turner vs.Constable

Episode #34: Rivals- Pollock vs. de Kooning

Episode #34: Rivals- Pollock vs. de Kooning