From the Margins Lee Krasner Norman Lewis, 1945–1952 Norman L. Kleeblatt, Lisa Saltzman, Amanda Bagneris, Stephen Brown

Publication date:
30 Sep 2014
Jewish Museum
96 pages: 254 x 216mm
64 color illus.
Sales territories:

An important reexamination of two artists whose crucial participation in the Abstract Expressionist movement is often overlooked

This captivating book examines two modernist painters—Lee Krasner (1908–1984) and Norman Lewis (1909–1979)—whose important contributions to Abstract Expressionism have long been underappreciated. During their lifetimes, and still to this day, Krasner and Lewis received little acknowledgment as major participants in the mainstream Abstract Expressionist scene in New York. Rather, Krasner was mainly known as the wife of Jackson Pollock and Lewis, as an African American artist, struggled for recognition.
Krasner’s and Lewis’s works from the height of the Abstract Expressionist movement share many qualities, including pictographic iconographies, allusions to writing, relatively small scales, and allover patterning. From the Margins therefore imagines a kind of conversation between these two artists, juxtaposing works from each to encourage visual and conceptual dialogues. An introductory essay delves into the challenges Krasner and Lewis faced in an artistic community dominated by white men, mainly concerning issues of identity, otherness, and marginalization in postwar American abstraction. Reasserting the influence and talent of these two significant artists, this book offers a vital and much-needed addition to the existing scholarship on modern art. 

Norman L. Kleeblatt is Susan and Elihu Rose Chief Curator and Stephen Brown is assistant curator, both at The Jewish Museum. Lisa Saltzman is professor of history of art at Bryn Mawr College. Mia L. Bagneris is a professor at Tulane University.