This lavishly illustrated book offers a detailed look at the evolution of Helen Frankenthaler’s sumptuous evocations of the natural world in paintings spanning forty years. Famous as the inventor of the “soak-stain” technique that ushered in Color Field painting in the mid-twentieth century, Helen Frankenthaler (1928-2011) continued to create powerful, original abstractions throughout her lifetime. This volume focuses on a selection of paintings that reveal the relationship between the pittura and the panorama in her work over the course of four decades. As Frankenthaler scholar John Elderfield notes, this interplay between works that are reminiscent of easel paintings, though made on the floor, and large, horizontal canvases that open onto shallow but expansive spaces, as panoramas do, was intrinsic to the artist’s development. In an original essay, Pepe Karmel traces connections between Frankenthaler’s sumptuous evocations of what she called “the atmosphere of landscape” and inspirations ranging from sixteenth-century Venetian paintings to works by Lucio Fontana, as well as her influence on successors including Mary Weatherford.
Published to accompany an exhibition organized by the Helen Frankenthaler Foundation and Venetian Heritage, in association with Gagosian, at the Museo di Palazzo Grimani, Venice, this generously illustrated volume offers a close look at a key aspect of Frankenthaler’s long pursuit of painting as a means to convey experiences and effects.
|Dimensions||276 × 321 mm|
John Elderfield is Chief Curator Emeritus of Painting and Sculpture at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, and a senior curator at Gagosian. Pepe Karmel is an associate professor of Art History at New York University.