The Fralin Museum of Art & Second Street Gallery
Last summer, The Fralin Museum of Art at the University of Virginia teamed up with Charlottesville’s Second Street Gallery (SSG) to present an exhibition that honored one of the leading figures of the second generation of Abstract Expressionism. Lady Painters: Inspired by Joan Mitchell, was featured in SSG’s Main Gallery from June 7-July 19, 2019. The exhibition highlights included rarely seen works of Mitchell, on loan to the Second Street Gallery from The Fralin. The Untitled works, including a painting and a work on paper, both dated 1957, are seen as important compositions from a significant year in the artist’s oeuvre. Joan Mitchell is recognized as one of the most significant artists in Post-War American Art. A leading figure in the New York School, Mitchell is known for the compositional rhythms, bold coloration, and sweeping gestural brushstrokes of her large and multi-paneled paintings. The exhibition, which took its title from the 2011 biography of Mitchell by Patricia Albers, examined Mitchell’s lasting influence on women artists who continue to work in the abstract expressionist style of painting. Artists participating in the exhibition included Isabelle Abbot, Karen Blair, Janet Bruce, and Priscilla Long Whitlock of Virginia, and Molly Herman, an Alexandria, Virginia native currently living and working in New York City.
Matthew McLendon, the J. Sanford Miller Family Director of The Fralin Museum of Art, said that the partnership was an important one artistically, as well as an example of an ongoing and important effort to build connections between UVA Arts and arts organizations throughout the broader Charlottesville community. "It was a pleasure to loan two works by Joan Mitchell to this important exhibition at Second Street Gallery that celebrates her continuing influence. As a vital bridge between the University of Virginia and the wider Charlottesville community, The Fralin Museum of Art was honored to partner with one of our community's most valued cultural assets." Second Street Gallery Executive Director and Chief Curator Kristen Chiacchia added, “It was my goal to include at least one original work by Joan Mitchell in this exhibition, and to give these artists, who have looked to Mitchell for inspiration in their own careers, the opportunity to finally exhibit alongside the artist.” The exhibition was made possible in part by the FUNd at the Charlottesville Area Community Foundation, Les Yeux du Monde Gallery, and The Fralin Museum of Art at the University of Virginia.