Chord VII is an oil on canvas painting created in 1987 by Joan Mitchell, a second-generation abstract expressionist painter and printmaker. The artwork measures 94 1/2 x 78 3/4 inches (240.03 x 200.025 cm). Mitchell’s works are known for their bold coloration, sweeping gestural brushstrokes, and compositional rhythms.
Chord VII is part of a series titled “Chord,” which Mitchell chose for its association with dissonance, vertical chords, and something put together. While the piece does not have a recognizable image, its intent was to convey emotions through its use of color and brushstroke rather than representation.
Mitchell was essential to the American Abstract Expressionist movement despite much of her career taking place in France. Chord VII showcases Mitchell’s trademark style with thick paint application that creates texture while she used broad strokes to create a sense of movement across the canvas.
Overall, Chord VII is an excellent example of Mitchell’s abstract style that aimed at exploring emotions through the use of color and brushwork rather than replicating recognizable images. Despite not gaining full recognition during her lifetime, Joan Mitchell has become one of the most important American painters from the post-World War II era to date.