Ocula MagazineContentsView All
Featured ContentView All
Pierre Huyghe: The Artist as Director Ocula Conversation Pierre Huyghe: The Artist as Director

Pierre Huyghe is a producer of spectacular and memorable enigmas, with works that function more like mirages than as objects. Abyssal Plain (2015–ongoing), his contribution to the 2015 Istanbul Biennial, curated by Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev, was installed on the seabed of the Marmara Sea, some 20 metres below the surface of the water and close to...

Fade out copy.
Read More
MoMA Expansion: Once the Modern, Always the Modern Ocula Report MoMA Expansion: Once the Modern, Always the Modern 29 Nov 2019 : Mohammad Salemy for Ocula

In the early decades of its existence, New York's Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), founded in 1929, transformed from a philanthropic project modestly housed in a few rooms of the Heckscher Building on the corner of Fifth Avenue and 57th Street, to an alleged operating node in the United States' cultural struggle during the cold war, and one of the...

Fade out copy.
Read More
Hans Hartung and Art Informel: Exhibition Walkthrough Ocula Insight | Video
Sponsored Content | Mazzoleni Gallery
Hans Hartung and Art Informel: Exhibition Walkthrough 15 October 2019

Hans Hartung and Art Informel at Mazzoleni London (1 October 2019-18 January 2020) presents key works by the French-German painter while highlighting his connection with artists active in Paris during the 50s and 60s. In this video, writer and historian Alan Montgomery discusses Hartung's practice and its legacy.Born in Leipzig in 1904, Hans...

Fade out copy.
Read More

Helen Frankenthaler

(1928 - 2011), USA

Helen Frankenthaler has long been recognized as one of the great American artists of the twentieth century. The paintings in her first solo exhibition of 1951, at age twenty-two, synthesized the most radical aspects of the work of Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning, and Arshile Gorky, with canvases of textured surfaces, washed with pale color, and articulated by calligraphic drawing. The following year, she painted Mountains and Sea, a breakthrough composition created by pouring thinned paint onto unsized canvas so that the paint soaked into the canvas, staining rather than coating, to become at once the coloring and the drawing.

The 1950s saw the beginning of Frankenthaler's mature style as she gave full rein to color beyond the ordinary, freedom of composition, absolute candor in the means of the making, and an ambiguous figuration with "a sort of symbolically garden quality," as she put it. By 1960 her work had become sparer and brighter—like much New York School painting—and linearity soon almost disappeared as shaped-areas of color dominated. By the mid-1960s, she had established the polarity across which she would work with such fecundity for the next forty years: painterly drawing and shape-making, both of which contributed to the ambiguity of reference and the creation of pictorial space. For much of the 1970s the two sides were frequently counterpointed, but by 1976–77 shape and area had become dominant. A decade later, the counterpoint was reasserted and it continued until her painting slowed and finally ended in the early years of this century. Her final canvas was painted fifty years after Mountains and Sea.

In addition to painting on canvas and on paper, Frankenthaler made sculptures, ceramics, and set designs, but the medium that most attracted her was printmaking—in particular the creation of woodcuts—hers counting among the greatest of contemporary works in that medium.

Frankenthaler's first retrospective was at the Jewish Museum, New York in 1960. Subsequent surveys included the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (1969; and international tour) and the Museum of Modern Art, New York and the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth (1989; and tour). In addition to the many essays and articles on her work, she was the subject of three monographs: Frankenthaler by Barbara Rose (1972); Frankenthaler by John Elderfield (1989–90); and Frankenthaler: A Catalogue Raisonné of Prints 1961–1994 by Suzanne Boorsch and Pegram Harrison (1996).

Her work is represented in the permanent collections of many institutions worldwide, including the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto; Art Institute of Chicago; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Centre Pompidou, Paris; The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; National Gallery of Australia, Canberra; National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. 

Fade out copy.
Read More

Featured Artworks

View All (10)
Sacrifice Decision by Helen Frankenthaler contemporary artwork
Helen FrankenthalerSacrifice Decision, 1981 Acrylic on canvas
136.5 x 301 cm
Gagosian
Shippan Point: Twilight by Helen Frankenthaler contemporary artwork
Helen FrankenthalerShippan Point: Twilight, 1980 Acrylic on canvas
180.3 x 139.7 cm
Gagosian
Tunis II by Helen Frankenthaler contemporary artwork
Helen FrankenthalerTunis II, 1978 Acrylic on canvas
241.3 x 290.8 cm
Gagosian
Dream Walk Red by Helen Frankenthaler contemporary artwork
Helen FrankenthalerDream Walk Red, 1978 Acrylic on canvas
149.9 x 262.9 cm
Gagosian
Jupiter by Helen Frankenthaler contemporary artwork
Helen FrankenthalerJupiter, 1976 Acrylic on canvas
269.2 x 188.6 cm
Gagosian
Champagne by Helen Frankenthaler contemporary artwork
Helen FrankenthalerChampagne, 1991 Acrylic on canvas
87.6 x 137.2 cm
Gagosian
White Joy by Helen Frankenthaler contemporary artwork
Helen FrankenthalerWhite Joy, 1981 Acrylic on canvas
134.6 x 177.8 cm
Miles McEnery Gallery
Rio Grande by Helen Frankenthaler contemporary artwork
Helen FrankenthalerRio Grande, 1987 Acrylic on canvas
72 x 72 inches
Miles McEnery Gallery

Recent Exhibitions

View All (4)
Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, Continuing Abstraction at Gagosian, Basel
Closed
10 June–13 July 2019 Group Exhibition Continuing Abstraction Gagosian, Basel
Contemporary art exhibition, Helen Frankenthaler, Sea Change: A Decade of Paintings, 1974–1983 at Gagosian, Rome
Closed
13 March–19 July 2019 Helen Frankenthaler Sea Change: A Decade of Paintings, 1974–1983 Gagosian, Rome
Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, Surface Work at Victoria Miro, London
Closed
11 April–16 June 2018 Group Exhibition Surface Work Victoria Miro, Mayfair, London

Represented By

In Related Press

View All (12)
Helen Frankenthaler and Robert Motherwell: The Art of Marriage Related Press Helen Frankenthaler and Robert Motherwell: The Art of Marriage The Brooklyn Rail : 28 November 2019

The cover photograph for the informative catalogue that accompanies this dazzling show was taken by Hans Namuth and catches Robert Motherwell and Helen Frankenthaler at their wedding lunch on April 6, 1958. Her look is all love; Motherwell, averting his gaze from Namuth, has a vacant, slightly ironic expression. Was it because he'd already been...

Fade out copy.
Read More
How Helen Frankenthaler’s Coastal Escapes Shaped Her Paintings Related Press How Helen Frankenthaler’s Coastal Escapes Shaped Her Paintings Hyperallergic : 11 September 2019

WATER MILL, New York — In Provincetown Window (1963–64), Helen Frankenthaler abstracted a familiar object. In doing so, she established a delicate balance of color and space. Orbs of blue, green, orange, and yellow acrylic radiate within a royal blue windowpane. Patches of unpainted canvas allow the saturations to shine more brightly.

Fade out copy.
Read More
How Helen Frankenthaler made her mark on the world of printmaking Related Press How Helen Frankenthaler made her mark on the world of printmaking Apollo : 21 August 2019

Looking at the huge, colour-saturated prints by Helen Frankenthaler (1928–2011) currently on display at Princeton University Art Museum will lift your spirits, and may make you dance right there – or return home to try your hand at printmaking. For Frankenthaler turned upside down the long-held, demanding rules for etching, lithography and other...

Fade out copy.
Read More
Gagosian to go off-piste with first pop-up show during Art Basel Related Press Gagosian to go off-piste with first pop-up show during Art Basel The Art Newspaper : 4 June 2019

Last year, Gagosian introduced an innovative virtual online viewing room during Art Basel. This year, the gallery is creating another sales platform during the Swiss fair, this time taking a bricks and mortar approach with an off-site pop-up exhibition titled Continuing Abstraction (10—16 June).

Fade out copy.
Read More

Be among the first to know when new artworks and exhibitions by Helen Frankenthaler are added to Ocula.

WeChat

Scan the QR Code via WeChat to follow Ocula's official account.

Scan to follow Ocula on WeChat.
iCal GoogleYahooOutlook