Helen Frankenthaler was an American was an American abstract expressionist painter, born in December of 1928. She played a large part in American postwar painting, and she was a large contributor to this particular genre. Helen Frankenthaler was a particularly unique artist, in that she exhibited her pieces of work for more than sixty years, spanning multiple generations of other abstract artists, while still continuing to produce new, fresh, and innovative pieces. She continued to exhibit her work up until her death in 2011.
Frankenthaler began to display and showcase her works in the 1950s, in contemporary museums and art galleries. At this particular point in time, she was focusing primarily on her large scale abstract impressionistic painting, and she began to receive recognition for these works.
In her early career, Helen Frankenthaler studied at the Dalton School and at Bennington College in Vermont. Here, in her studies, she began to truly understand pictorial composition and cubism.
Interestingly enough, Frankenthaler’s work is possibly best distinguished by its lack of distinct style or definition. In fact, it has been said that her work is nearly impossible to broadly characterize. This seems like a fairly obvious concept; since her work spanned more than six decades, her style and form would naturally develop and change.
Early on in her artistic career, Helen Frankenthaler was most closely associated with abstract impressionism. Many say that her actual artistic career was launched in 1952, with her exhibition of Mountains and Sea. Throughout the early to mid 1950s, you will notice that most of the focus of Frankenthaler’s work occurs in the center of the canvas, with the outlying edges being of little no to no importance. From the late 1950s into the 1960s, she began to experiment with and use acrylic paints rather than oils, and by the 1970s, she had almost completely moved away from her unique soak stain method; rather, preferring thicker and more opaque paints.
Helen Frankenthaler understood that, as an artist, she needed to constantly change and evolve in order to stay relevant in the art world. She did this consistently and correctly, and as such, she enjoyed a long career in the art world that spanned several decades. For this reason, she was one of the most influential and well known artists of the entire mid twentieth century. If you are not familiar with her works, you should definitely make a trip to the gallery to see some of her works for yourself. Trust us, you won’t be disappointed.
Helen Frankenthaler Artwork
Helen Frankenthaler is known for many of her works, and in different mediums. Some of her most known pieces include the following:
- Mountains and Sea, 1952
- Basque Landscape, 1958
- Lorelai, 1956
- Swan Lake #2, 1961
- Eden, 1956
Prints and Wood Cuts:
- Essence of Mulberry, 1977
- The Tales of Gengi, 1995
- Madame Butterfly
About Hamilton-Selway Fine Art
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