In 1950s New York, Joan Mitchell was a lively, argumentative member of the famed Cedar Bar crowd, alongside Franz Kline, Willem de Kooning, and other notable first- and second-generation Abstract Expressionist painters. Based on landscape imagery and flowers, her large-scale paintings investigate the potential of big, aggressive brushstrokes and vivid color to convey emotion. "I try to eliminate clichés, extraneous material," she once said. "I try to make it exact. My painting is not an allegory or a story. It is more like a poem." Mitchell, who moved to France in 1959, has had numerous museum exhibitions, and examples of her work hang in nearly all the important public collections of modern art.