Paul Kasmin is honored to present a selection of work from Lee Krasner’s Solstice Series at this year’s ADAA: The Art Show. Between 1979 and 1981, Krasner made twenty-one collaged paintings that incorporated and re-contextualized fragments of earlier work. Towards the end of her five-decade career, she continued to push the boundaries of her practice with the Solstice Series, revisiting and cannibalizing older works and processes, while demonstrating an acute understanding of language as an integral element of the self.
In conversation with the art dealer and writer John Bernard Myers, Krasner divulged that Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring was playing in her head while she worked on the Solstice Series. The music prompted her to consider the changing, cyclical nature of the seasons and contemplate her own oeuvre. According to Krasner, “the year is divided into cycles, four seasons, and the cycles recur over and over—endlessly. Yet the weather, even the climate, is never exactly the same. As an artist, I realize I, too, am always the same, and yet I am always different. I change, my work changes—but both remain within cycles that are peculiar to me... I thought of what I was doing, making something new out of the old, as a parallel corresponding to renewal in nature, a reflection of it” (L. Krasner, quoted in E. G. Landau, Lee Krasner: A Catalogue Raisonné, New York, 1995, p. 287). Krasner discovered the word “solstice,” after Myers encouraged her to consult the Oxford English Dictionary. The word is defined as “a turning point, a culmination."
The Solstice Series was first shown in a solo exhibition entitled Lee Krasner/Solstice at Pace Gallery in New York in the spring of 1981. Works from the series have been exhibited in numerous institutions worldwide, including the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney; Brooklyn Museum, New York; Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh; Houston Museum of Fine Art; Museum Ludwig, Cologne; Phoenix Art Museum; and Seattle Art Museum.