Helen Frankenthaler

“A really good picture looks as if it’s happened at once. It's an immediate image. For my own work, when a picture looks labored and overworked, and you can read in it—well, she did this and then she did that, and then she did that—there is something in it that has not got to do with beautiful art to me. And I usually throw these out, though I think very often it takes 10 of those over-labored efforts to produce one really beautiful wrist motion that is synchronized with your head and heart, and you have it, and therefore it looks as if it were born in a minute." In Barbara Rose, Frankenthaler.

... developed a staining method that involved soaking canvases in color by pouring turpentine-thinned paint onto them. This Color Field method, according to NY Times obituary writer Grace Glueck, 'was credited with releasing color from the gestural approach and romantic rhetoric of Abstract Expressionism.' The technique began with her 1952 painting, Mountains and Sea... http://jewishcurrents.org/tag/art

... abstract expressionist painter... a major contributor to the history of postwar American painting. Having exhibited her work for over 6 decades..., she spanned several generations of abstract painters while continuing to produce vital and ever-changing new work...

As a whole, Frankenthaler’s style is almost impossible to broadly characterize. Being an active painter for nearly 6 decades meant that Frankenthaler’s works went through a variety of phases and stylistic shifts. Initially associated with abstract expressionism because of her focus on forms latent in nature, Frankenthaler’s style is typically identified by her use of fluid shapes, abstract masses, and lyrical gestures.

Frankenthaler is still guiltlessly making beautiful pictures, even though her work has been dismissed, since the days of Harold Rosenberg, as mere interior decoration...
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Goldy Bardin


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