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.