The Great Depression of the 1930s forced Krasner to leave the Academy and enroll on a teacher's course at the City College of New York, where tuition was free. While studying for her certificate, she began taking life-drawing classes at Greenwich House with Job Goodman. A former student of the regionalist painter Thomas Hart Benton, Goodman advocated a classical method of drawing, taking inspiration from such Renaissance “masters” as Michelangelo. The works presented here show how uninhibited Krasner was towards nudity, using Conté crayon to emphasize the muscularity of the model's body.
In 1937 Krasner was awarded a scholarship to attend classes at the Hans Hofmann School. Hofmann was a German modernist who had lived and worked in Paris alongside Picasso and Matisse, two of Krasner's self-proclaimed “gods.” Hofmann taught a version of Analytical Cubism and was primarily concerned with the tension between flatness and three-dimensionality, which he called the “push-pull” of a work. The drawings displayed here show Krasner making her first break into abstraction.