Saved events

Lee Krasner

Living Colour

Lee Krasner is a key figure in American art, whose energetic work reflects the spirit of possibility in post-war New York.

'I like a canvas to breathe and be alive. Be alive is the point.' 

This exhibition celebrates the work and life of Lee Krasner (1908–1984), a pioneer of Abstract Expressionism. The first major presentation of her work in Europe for more than 50 years, Lee Krasner: Living Colour tells the story of a formidable artist, whose importance has too often been eclipsed by her marriage to Jackson Pollock.

Discover Krasner’s spirit for invention – from striking early self-portraits to her acclaimed ‘Little Image’ paintings from the 1940s, from collages comprised of torn-up earlier work to a selection of her most impressive large-scale abstract paintings. Explore nearly 100 works, many of which are being presented for the first time in the UK.

Exhibition curated and organised by Barbican Centre, London in collaboration with Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt, Zentrum Paul Klee Bern and the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao.

The exhibition is also made possible with support from Kasmin Gallery, Elizabeth and J. Jeffry Louis, the Kenneth C. Griffin Charitable Fund, Ron Delsener, Midge and Simon Palley, the Ruddock Foundation for the Arts, and a Jonathan Ruffer Curatorial Research Grant from the Art Fund.


Terra Foundation
Pollock-Krasner Foundation


‘...swooningly good‘
‘...canvases that compel the eye and seduce the mind‘
‘This whole exhibition proves, beyond any doubt [...] Lee Krasner was one of the best.‘
‘An outstanding rediscovery‘
‘a confident, intelligent exhibition, presenting Lee Krasner in her rightful position as one of the most important painters of the 20th Century…‘
‘a beautiful, dynamic, exhilarating hymn to the indomitable power of the human spirit...‘


Two women standing in front of a purple painting

'The show feels like one painting' // Jadé Fadojutimi x Katy Hessel

In the third and final episode of our series of contemporary artists’ responses to Lee Krasner, we talk to artist Jadé Fadojutimi to hear about the impact Krasner's work has had on her as an artist particularly their connection over colour. 

image of young poet anita barton-williams sitting on the floor in front of a green painting by lee krasner

Poet Anita Barton-Williams performs 'Dear Lee'

Poet Anita Barton-Williams performs her piece Dear Lee in our exhibition Lee Krasner: Living Colour 

photo of lee krasner in her own studio

Watch: Lee Krasner In Her Own Words


American painter Lee Krasner on her own career and her practice.

photo of flora yukhnovich and katy hessel

'I think of her work as quite sensual'


In the second of a series of three videos exploring contemporary artists’ responses to our Lee Krasner exhibition, we talk to artist Flora Yukhnovich to learn more about her practice and what Krasner’s work means to her

Photo of Lee Krasner

Longread: Introducing Lee Krasner

A key figure in American art, Krasner's energetic works reflect the spirit of possibility in post-war New York. Charlotte Flint, Exhibition Assistant on Lee Krasner: Living Colour, looks back through her life, works and legacy.

chantal joffe and katy hessel in the studio

'She was always looking for something new'

We meet artist Chantal Joffe in her studio as she talks to Katy Hessel (founder of The Great Women Artists) about Lee Krasner's life, her paintings and what this new exhibition of her works mean for her.

With thanks

tp bennett Logo
Sotheby's logo
The Zetter Hotel logo
Jack Arts logo

Education resources

A downloadable teaching resource is available for those planning visits to the exhibition.

A special school group rate is available alongside free exhibition tours which are suitable for both primary and secondary school groups. A discounted group booking applies to all school groups of 10 or more:

•   Secondary and sixth form (up to age 19): £3 per student
•   Students under 14 years: free

For bookings and enquiries please contact the school groups booking line:
Tel: 020 7382 7211 (Mon–Fri 10am–5pm)
Email: [email protected]

Please note, you will need to book at least two weeks in advance if you would like a free exhibition tour as part of your visit.

Visiting with your children?

Download the Lee Krasner: Living Colour activity sheet, filled with fun activities encouraging you to get creative.


Lee Krasner: Living Colour will tour to:

Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt
11 Oct 2019–12 Jan 2020

Zentrum Paul Klee Bern
7 Feb–10 May 2020

The Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao
29 May–6 September 2020