Joanna Vanterpool Krasner was a mid-century Abstract Expressionist New York artist. She was part of an artistic family: daughter and niece of artists, married to Oscar Krasner, director of eponymous Madison Avenue gallery, and mother of accomplished artist Jenny Krasner. She earned a Bachelor’s degree in fine arts from the University of Saskatchewan and a Master’s degree in painting from the University of Wisconsin. She also studied at London’s Central School of Arts and Crafts.
Ms. Krasner received numerous awards for her work during her education, including the Madison, Wisconsin Newspapers Award for Oil Painting, the World University of Canada Fellowship to Italy, the Canada Council Grant to the School of Fine Arts Fontainebleau, the 1955 Purchase Prize, Winnipeg Art Gallery, and the Thekla M. Bernays Scholarship to The Art Students League of New York.
Krasner described her work as follows:
“My art work consists of building up and breaking down lines, shapes, colors and concepts, often in the end, returning to the original idea. Through this process the pieces take on a life of their own; initial impressions are strengthened and unexpected twists, turns and configurations arise.
“The paintings are built up gradually with layers applied in oil paint occasionally mixed with sand. The original iconography is left to show through which eventually arrives at a heavily textured surface. Detailed overlapping lines result in a visual tangled web which are intuitive rather than intentional.
“The application of paint is subject to constant experimentation: smearing, scraping, rubbing and daubing. The variety of marks create unexpected color combinations and textures. Abstract images are culled from the subconscious, chance movements of the brush or spatula and rub-outs with a rag reveal new shapes, forms and textures which propel the work toward unexplored and vibrant directions.”
In addition to several shows at her husband’s prominent Madison Avenue gallery, Krasner’s work has been exhibited at The Winnipeg Art Gallery, the National Gallery of Canada, the Pennsylvania Academy in Philadelphia, the Shelter Rock Art Gallery in Manhasset, the Paris-Kent-New York Art Gallery, and the Huntington Art Council.
Krasner’s work is held by the Richard F. Brush Art Gallery at St. Lawrence University, the Centre Re-Pembroke in Bermuda, The Owen D. Young Library in Canton, New York, the Saskatchewan Main Library, the University of Wisconsin, the University of Saskatchewan, and ten works are held in the permanent collection of the Saskatchewan Arts Board.
Her work is also held in numerous important private collections, with relatively few works becoming available in the secondary market in the last decade. Prominent collectors of Krasner’s work include storied collectors Arthur and Anita Kahn, New York attorneys Rosenman Colin, Jacques Kaplan, Joao Hafers of Sao Paolo and New York, Ambrose Doskow, Kate Feldand, and Samuel Magdoff (Magdoff pioneered connecting art and animation technology as President of Elektra Films in New York and was president of the Film Producers Association of New York, a member of the Art Directors Club, and Associate Dean of Continuing Education at Parsons).