Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Helen Frankenthaler 1928-2011

by Gregg Chadwick

Helen Frankenthaler
Mountains and Sea
7' 2 5/8" x 9' 9 1/4" oil on canvas 1952
National Gallery of Art, Washington DC

"Fashion and money, fame and power politics have played a part in all art worlds. You've just got to plug away.... I see a revival of the meaning of the word "quality"---a search for truth and beauty in lieu of stock certificates. People are most interested in what's real, what endures."
- Helen Frankenthaler (From a Conversation With Lee Rosenbaum)

Helen Frankenthaler's painting Mountains and Sea opened a painterly universe. She poured, dripped, and floated thinned oil paint directly onto an unprimed canvas, creating a stained surface in which the pigment spread into and throughout the canvas fibers. The painting is mesmerizing, like the open sea is mesmerizing. Color beckons almost like song. As viewers we take the role of Odysseus, some will remain tied to a mast - fighting the beauty and lyricism. Others, myself included, let Helen Frankenthaler's hand lead us into the unknown. 

She will be sorely missed. 

Helen Frankenthaler Painting
From a Series of Photographs by Ernst Haas Taken in 1969

Helen Frankenthaler Amidst Her Art in 1956
Photographer: Gordon Parks for LIFE Magazine

More at:
A Search for Truth and Beauty by Lee Rosenbaum

Helen Frankenthaler dies at 83; abstract painter


Post a Comment

<< Home

FAIR USE NOTICE:: This site contains images and excerpts made available for the purpose of analysis and critique, as well as to advance the understanding of artistic, political, media and cultural issues. The 'fair use' of such material is provided for under U.S. Copyright Law. In accordance with U.S. Code Title 17, Section 107, material on this site (along with credit links and attributions to original sources) is viewable for educational and intellectual purposes. If you are interested in using any copyrighted material from this site for any reason that goes beyond 'fair use,' you must first obtain permission from the copyright owner.