Eminent among a second generation of postwar American abstract artists, Helen Frankenthaler’s invention of the soak-stain technique expanded the possibilities of abstract painting while referencing figuration and landscape in unique ways. During the 1990s, as her practice continued to evolve through the use of diverse media and processes, she naturally transitioned from tackling canvases on the floor to using larger sheets of paper laid out on the floor or on table tops for easier accessibility. The continuity between the late work and what came before is striking—the fruits of an intuitive journey graced by mood, imagination, and technical facility.
"The continuity between the late work and what came before, in content and execution, is striking: compositions that vary from dense and somber to airy and buoyant; favored figures rendered in fresh contexts; and the curious commingling of amorphic and geometric configurations distinguish Frankenthaler’s poetic abstractions,” said Douglas Dreishpoon, Director of the Helen Frankenthaler Catalogue Raisonné and exhibition curator. “Graced with an expansive art-historical image bank and technical prowess, the seventy-something-year-old painter moved in whatever direction suited her mood and imagination.”
"Helen Frankenthaler: Late Works, 1990–2003" is on view June 12 - August 28, 2021 at the Weatherspoon Art Museum at the University of North Carolina Greensboro. Visit weatherspoonart.org for details.