Born in 1925 in Chicago, Illinois, Joan Mitchell attended Smith College and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago before moving to New York in 1947. She befriended many of the Abstract Impressionist painters while living in New York, and by 1948 she had gained a reputation as one of the leading members of the “second generation” painters of the New York School.
From 1955 to 1959, Mitchell divided her time between New York and Paris, and in 1959 she moved permanently to France. She left Paris in 1968 and settled in Vétheuil, on a property which included a house once occupied by Claude Monet. She continued to work in Vétheuil until her death in 1992. Color plays a crucial role in Mitchell’s paintings and prints.