Joan Mitchell (1926-1992) was one of the few women among the first-rank Abstract Expressionist painters. She outpaced all but a handful of her male mentors and counterparts, while only Lee Krasner stands as a possible rival among her female counterparts. Although well regarded by critics, fellow artists, and the general public, Mitchell's achievement has never received full recognition; her work has not been shown in New York for more than twenty-five years. This exquisitely illustrated volume and the exhibition that it accompanies restore the artist to her rightful place in the history of American painting. Spanning Mitchell's entire career, from early works of 1951 until the year of her death, The Paintings of Joan Mitchell includes a wealth of breathtaking paintings, both intimate and grand in scale, that reveal Mitchell's fierce dedication to her art and reflect both the struggles and the artistic triumphs she achieved with her distinctive vision of Abstract Expressionism.Jane Livingston draws on the artist's personal papers, including her journals and extensive correspondence, to provide an illuminating interpretation of the artist and her work. Linda Nochlin, who was a friend of Mitchell, discusses the artist's experience working in a field dominated by men. A third text by Whitney Curator Yvette Lee explores a distinctive and little-known suite of paintings entitled La Grande Vallée, created in 1983-84. Mounted with the full cooperation of the estate of Joan Mitchell, the exhibition contains many paintings rarely seen before--and in some cases never publicly exhibited. This book includes an exhibition history; an extensive artist bibliography of related monographs, reviews, and filmed interviews; and color plates and listing of all the works appearing in the exhibition.