Natural Forms and Symbolism in Lee Krasner’s Abstract Paintings?

Abstract painters like Lee Krasner employ natural phenomena and symbols in their works to convey underlying messages. Krasner used a range of colors, shapes, and objects in her artworks that communicated her emotions and ideas. Here are the natural forms and symbolism in Krasner’s abstract paintings: 

Natural Forms 

Lee Krasner used natural forms in artworks such as Rising Green (1972), Gaea (1966), and The Springs (1964). Some of her works feature objects like flowers, leaves, and animals. They manifest Krasner’s deep interest in natural objects and her love for nature. Other natural objects she employed in her works include wind, foliage, and snowstorms. Krasner’s self-portrait of 1930 depicts her early training in realism and the foundation of abstraction in her artworks. This painting captures her as a painter holding her paintbrushes firmly. 

Like other abstract painters, Lee Krasnerwas inspired by nature, allowing her to create numerous masterpieces. Another Storm (1963) is one of her works that depicts the New Year’s Eve snowstorm that occurred in 1963 in the Southern United States. This painting commemorates the historic snowstorm while expressing Krasner’s keen observation of natural occurrences. 

Other paintings, like Earth Green (1956-1959) and Umber (1959-1961), expressed her emotional turmoil. These paintings used various natural forms like a green planet and moon, identifying them as her popular psychoanalytical artworks. They expressed her emotions after losing her husband, Jackson Pollock. She also suffered insomnia after Pollock’s death, which inspired her to work on the Umber series. 


Lee Krasner used different colors, shapes, and lines in her paintings to convey specific meanings. Understanding the symbols and the meaning behind them can help one interpret her works better. Throughout the mid to late 1940s, she worked on the Little Image (1946-50), a series containing 31 paintings. These paintings were her first abstractions with symbols and marks arranged in grids. 

Some of the most iconic paintings from the Little Image series include Composition (1949), White Squares (1948), and Untitled (1948). Krasner incorporated geometric motifs and hieroglyphics to represent various symbols. Highlights of her works included side-by-side rectangles, circles, and triangles painted in a range of colors. These shapes convey different emotions when used in abstract paintings. Triangles can symbolize strength or stability, while circles represent wholeness. 

After her husband and mother’s deaths, Lee Krasner incorporated more symbols in her paintings to express her deep sorrow. Some of the works she completed after these incidents include Vigil (1960), Portrait in Green (1969), and Imperfect Indicative (1976). She used colors like red, green, and blue in various paintings to convey her emotions. Artists may use red to symbolize love, passion, or anger. Lee Krasner might have used this color to represent her anger after losing the two family members. The colors could also symbolize her love and passion for painting and nature.

Blue in artworks can symbolize sadness or calmness, while green shows a love for nature, harmony, and hope. Krasner might have used all these colors to symbolize the emotional turmoil she experienced and how she felt after overcoming those challenges. Color is also an effective symbol in creating a mood to complement the artwork’s theme. That’s why Lee Krasner used deep colors in works like Lavender (1942), Palingenesis (1971), and Water No. 18 (1969). 

Explore Lee Krasner’s Abstract Paintings

Lee Krasner was an influential artist who contributed to abstract painting. Her works of art utilize different natural forms and symbolism to express her emotions and ideas. Some of her iconic artworks are still available in commercial art galleries in the United States. Visit a reputable art gallery today to explore some of Krasner’s works and learn more about abstract paintings. 

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