Night Journeys

In 1957 Krasner decided to take over Pollock's studio in the barn at Springs. She was now able to work on an unprecedented scale, tacking lengths of unstretched canvas directly to the wall. Suffering from chronic insomnia at the time, she worked at night and decided to restrict her palette to white and umber, since she hated working with color under artificial light. The choice of umber gives the works an organic quality, while the thin layers of paint were intended to allow her to remain true to her “original impulse.”

Her friend the poet Richard Howard called these works her “Night Journeys,” and Krasner explained that such titles as Assault on the Solar Plexus were “embarrassingly realistic ... I had had the blow-up with Greenberg, my mother died ... it was a rough life.” The “blow-up” she refers to came when Clement Greenberg decided to cancel an exhibition because he did not like the direction of her new work. Rather than abandon the series, Krasner threw herself into it, exhibiting the resulting works at Howard Wise Gallery in 1960 and 1962 to much acclaim.