NARRATOR: The Guardian belongs to a series of umber and white paintings that Lee Krasner called Night Journeys. Working in the middle of the night during bouts of insomnia, Krasner used only the few colors that she could discern in poor light.
It’s painted in 1960, four years after the death of Jackson Pollock, Krasner’s larger than life husband. Krasner was devoted to her husband, overseeing his career throughout their ten-year marriage and presiding over his estate after his death. Like many women artists of her generation, Krasner received little encouragement or critical recognition for her work until the feminist movement of the 1970s.
LEEKRASNER: I was put together with the wives. They worked, they supported their husbands, they taught school and kept their mouths absolutely closed tight. I don’t know if they were instructed never to speak publicly, I don’t know if they had a thought.
Jackson always treated me as an artist but his ego was so colossal, I didn’t threaten him in any way. So he was aware of what I was doing, I was working, and that was that. That was our relationship.