The first solo presentation of Helen Frankenthaler's works to be held in Paris since After Abstract Expressionism, 1959–1962 at Gagosian in 2017, this grouping spans three decades of her painting practice. Two canvases from 1961, Black Shapes on Black and Square Figure, emerged from a pivotal moment in Frankenthaler's career, a year after her first institutional retrospective at the Jewish Museum, New York. They are composed with highly saturated colours imparted by her use of thinned oil paint, together with more graphic linear elements that define an aggregation of autonomous shapes. Painted a decade later, soon after Frankenthaler began spending summers at Shippan Point in Stamford, Connecticut, facing Long Island Sound, Ocean Drive West #1 (1974) conveys both the tranquility and restless movement of the ocean through its lucid blue tones and supple swelling forms. A group of brilliantly hued gestural works on paper from the 1990s exemplifies Frankenthaler's lifelong exploration of the technical and compositional possibilities of painting.
Press release courtesy Gagosian.