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Joan Mitchell stands as one of the most prominent female American Abstract Expressionists of the 20th century. Following her graduation from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1947, she was awarded a traveling fellowship, which took her to France between 1948-49. It was there where she began developing her unique brand of abstraction. On her return to New York, she exhibited in the seminal 1951 9th Street Show, and critics began to recognize her as a leading young Abstract Expressionist. Beginning in 1955, she began working between France and New York. In 1968, she moved to Vétheuil, a small town in the countryside outside of Paris, where she worked until her death in 1992. Here, she hosted and supported young artists, her generosity often having a profound effect on their careers. Today, the Joan Mitchell Foundation recognizes individual artists while promoting and preserving Mitchell’s legacy. Of Mitchell’s achievement, Klaus Kertess wrote, “she transformed the gestural painterliness of Abstract Expressionism into a vocabulary so completely her own that it could become ours as well. And her total absorption of the lessons of Matisse and van Gogh led to a mastery of color inseparable from the movement of light and paint. Her ability to reflect the flow of her consciousness in that of nature, and in paint, is all but unparalleled.”