In 1955, Joan Mitchell began dividing her time between New York and France. She settled in Vétheuil, a small countryside town outside of Paris, in 1968 and continuously worked there until the end of her life. Impressionist Claude Monet lived and painted in this same quiet and serene location during the late 1870s. Inspired directly by Mitchell’s sense of place in Vétheuil, Blue Territory is part of her “Fields” series painted between 1971 and 1972. Here, Mitchell divided her canvas into rectangular areas of color. However, the overall composition essentially reads as a landscape. The artist has said of her work, “It comes from and is about landscape, not about me.” Throughout this composition, Mitchell built up areas of pigment—some applied in glossy, thick layers, others dissolving in thin veils and drips. Despite the richness of Mitchell’s brushwork, the gravitational pull on dribbles of paint lends this sizeable tableau a stable and somewhat serene air.