Ms. Frankenthaler

Helen Frankenthaler passed away on Tuesday at the age of 83.  (Read the story in the New York Times.)

Frankenthaler, a Washington School Abstract Expressionist who was once married to Robert Motherwell, was known for her innovative stain technique like this one, titled Mountains and Sea (1952) which involved pouring paint thinned with turpentine directly onto raw unprimed canvases.  Painting in Zen-mind, Frankenthaler effectively shifted the dominant emphasis of the time from the wildly-expressionistic gesture painting of the New York School toward a more chilled out aesthetic,  influencing the next generation of Post-painterly abstractionists like Kenneth Noland and Jules Olitski.  RIP Ms. Frankenthaler, whose important contribution to postwar American art will surely only continue to be realized and celebrated as time goes on.


About station923

Located in Ithaca, NY, Project Space 923 is an alternative exhibition space committed to the uncompromising presentation of contemporary art. Our goal is to offer a platform for innovative and audience-engaging forms of practice in a community with few such venues, as well as to involve the contemporary art dialogue on a regional, national and global level. View all posts by station923

2 responses to “Ms. Frankenthaler

  • Stephen Poleskie

    Nice of you to post this. I don’t often read the NY Times anymore, and Helen and I have been out of touch for many years. Unfortunately, the article didn’t seen to think too much of her screen prints. There is a photo of Helen and I working on one of them, as I recall the first one that she ever did, on my web site. She was a gracious lady. I am sure that she will be missed.
    Steve Poleskie

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