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David Chipperfield Architects has designed a new exhibition of the work of Lee Krasner (1908–84), which opens at the Barbican 30 May. Krasner was one of the original abstract expressionists and the exhibition, which was designed in close collaboration with the art gallery and graphic design studio Apfel, is the artist’s first European retrospective. Her fifty-year career is presented in the nearly 100 drawings, collages and paintings of various scales that are on display and contextualised by film and photography from the period.

Laid out across two levels, the space has a central staircase that leads the visitor from the large atrium to the upper level where the route begins. The intimate upstairs gallery rooms mirror the domestic spaces where Krasner created her early work. The shift to the larger downstairs spaces reflects the change in scale of her work after her husband Jackson Pollock’s death, when she took over his barn studio space. Throughout the exhibition, colour and natural light are used to complement the work and reflect the emotional and spatial context in which it was created.

The exhibition runs 30 May‒1 September 2019.

Image © Tristan Fewings / Getty Images