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Joan Mitchell: A Frame for all Spaces

March 27, 2020

2 minute read

Lengths of the frame were constructed to fit on site

When a New York collector recently asked Lowy to frame a large painting by Joan Mitchell and hang it on the 15th floor of his Park Avenue apartment, the job was complicated by the size of the elevator.

As it turned out, the painting, which measures 72 x 68 ½” , barely fit in the elevator leaving no room for a frame.

The client wanted a more formal presentation for the painting to complement the decor of his living room; the solution was for Lowy to make a frame in lengths to be assembled and fit on site. Luckily for this collector, design would not have to be sacrificed to fit into the space. 

Lowy art handlers assembling the frame in client’s residence.

The Joan Mitchell work, Rose Cottage, is an important abstract expressionist painting from the early 1950’s when the artist was painting in New York.  After discussions with the client, a 3 ½” wide gold bevelled float frame was designed. After a profile drawing was created, the frame lengths were milled, sanded, and multiple layers of gesso were applied followed by a layer of red bole. The frame was then entirely gilded in 24 k. gold leaf, burnished to create a bright modern finish, and sealed with a lightly toned lacquer. The float was painted a dark charcoal tone.

After carefully wrapping and delivering the gilded molding to the apartment, the frame was joined with concealed bolts at the corners, touched up, and fit onto the painting by the Lowy team. Rose Cottage is now beautifully installed in the client’s living room.

The completed Joan Mitchell piece as installed in client’s Park Avenue residence