Helen Frankenthaler | Resume

Born in 1928 in New York, NY
Died December 27, 2011

Frankenthaler's prints combine the artist's trademark use of rich colors, interesting papers and the ambiguous abstract imagery which propelled her to the forefront of the Abstract Expressionist movement some four decades ago.

She received her BA from Bennington College in 1949 and very quickly became a highly recognized and influential member of the second generation New York School. She was one of very few female members of that school and one of the very few still living. Among the others who are still living are Motherwell and deKooning.

Frankenthaler was awarded the First prize for painting in the Paris Biennale de Paris in 1959 and has received numerous other awards and honors.

She has shown regularly in galleries and museums around the world for the last 40 years. Her one-person exhibitions include The Jewish Museum (1960), Whitney Museum (1969), Metropolitan Museum (1973), the Seattle Art Museum (1975) and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (1986).

In that time her prints have developed a reputation equal in some ways to the early reputation of Frankenthaler's paintings. She has taken great care in making these images and one feels that care in the richness and beauty for which Frankenthaler offers no apology. Thus far in over 30 years of making prints, Frankenthaler has produced slightly more than 100 editions, compared to over 200 for both Rauschenberg and Stella, over 300 for Dine, more than 400 for Warhol and Hockney, and 500 for Motherwell.

In an interview with Thomas Krems, Frankenthaler has stated that: "I am not interested in the techniques of printmaking. I am not interested in the chemistry. I want it done for me. But I have to be there for every hairline of the doing. Everything. I want to draw my own images, mix my own colors,
approve of registration marks, select paper - all the considerations and reconsiderations."

One of the defining artists of American Abstract Expressionism, Frankenthaler was born in New York in 1928. Trained at Bennington College and with Wallace Harrison and Hans Hofmann, Frankenthaler is concerned with developing a close relationship between image and surface and with the specifics of the medium of paint. One of Frankenthaler's favored techniques, staining the canvas with the pigment and allowing the different layers to show through, has become a quintessential characteristic of Abstract Expressionism in general, and her work in particular. - text by Art of This Century, NY