In the early 1970s, Krasner shifted from the soft, biomorphic shapes of her recent paintings to more hard-edged, abstract forms. Her reputation as a colorist had been established with her exhibition at the Stable Gallery in 1955, and with her more recent Primary Series, but now her work had a quieter energy. As art historian Cindy Nemser observed, the new paintings seemed to be “expansive yet contained ... stately and slow-moving.”

Exhibited first at Marlborough-Gerson Gallery, the paintings would form a prominent part of the exhibition Lee Krasner: Large Paintings, curated by Marcia Tucker at the Whitney Museum of American Art in 1973—the first major presentation of her work in a public institution in her native New York. The works attest to Krasner's drive for invention, even in the latter part of her career. Palingenesis, the large work in this space, is titled after the Greek word for “re-birth,” a concept that Krasner considered fundamental to her practice. As she explained in an interview with curator Barbara Rose, “evolution, growth, and change go on. Change is life.”