Helen Frankenthaler

(1928-2011)
Lot 212
Helen Frankenthaler
A Page From a Book: I-III (3)
Estimate: $8,000 - $12,000
November 18, 2018
Lot 213
Helen Frankenthaler
Madame de Pompadour
Estimate: $4,000 - $6,000
November 18, 2018
Lot 214
Helen Frankenthaler
West Wind
Estimate: $6,000 - $8,000
November 18, 2018
Lot 215
Helen Frankenthaler
Broome Street at Night
Estimate: $3,000 - $5,000
November 18, 2018
Lot 85
Helen Frankenthaler
Alaska
Estimate: $6,000 - $8,000
Price Realized: $12,500
September 30, 2018
Lot 86
Helen Frankenthaler
The Red Sea
Estimate: $3,000 - $5,000
Price Realized: $4,688
September 30, 2018
Lot 87
Helen Frankenthaler
Reflections X (from Reflections Series)
Estimate: $2,000 - $3,000
Price Realized: $3,438
September 30, 2018
Lot 88
Helen Frankenthaler
Southern Exposure
Estimate: $6,000 - $8,000
Price Realized: $10,625
September 30, 2018
Lot 89
Helen Frankenthaler
Round Robin
Estimate: $2,000 - $3,000
Price Realized: $4,688
September 30, 2018
Lot 185
Helen Frankenthaler
Solarium Plus Color Variation
Estimate: $5,000 - $7,000
Price Realized: $3,125
May 21, 2017
Lot 186
Helen Frankenthaler
Reflections IX (from Reflections Series)
Estimate: $2,000 - $3,000
Price Realized: $2,625
May 21, 2017
Lot 184
Helen Frankenthaler
Flotilla
Estimate: $3,000 - $5,000
Price Realized: $3,437
May 17, 2015
Lot 368
Helen Frankenthaler
Southern Exposure
Estimate: $6,000 - $8,000
Price Realized: $7,500
October 12, 2014
Lot 369
Helen Frankenthaler
Wind Directions (Four Pochoirs portfolio)
Estimate: $3,000 - $5,000
Price Realized: $4,062
October 12, 2014
Lot 370
Helen Frankenthaler
Orange Downpour (Four Pochoirs portfolio)
Estimate: $3,000 - $5,000
Price Realized: $5,000
October 12, 2014
Lot 219
Helen Frankenthaler
Causeway (Doctors of the World Collection)
Estimate: $6,000 - $9,000
Price Realized: $6,250
May 18, 2014
Lot 43
Helen Frankenthaler
Guadalupe
Estimate: $15,000 - $20,000
Price Realized: $18,750
February 23, 2014
Lot 13
Helen Frankenthaler
Sunshine After Rain
Estimate: $9,000 - $12,000
Price Realized: $9,375
May 19, 2013
Lot 290
Helen Frankenthaler
Air Frame
Estimate: $3,000 - $5,000
Price Realized: $2,500
December 16, 2012
Lot 429
Helen Frankenthaler
Walking Rain
Estimate: $2,000 - $3,000
Price Realized: $4,062
October 7, 2012
Lot 430
Helen Frankenthaler
Pranzo Italiano
Estimate: $1,500 - $2,000
Price Realized: $2,250
October 7, 2012
Lot 431
Helen Frankenthaler
Orange Hoop
Estimate: $2,000 - $3,000
Price Realized: $2,500
October 7, 2012
Lot 100
Helen Frankenthaler
A Page From a Book: I-III (3 works)
Estimate: $9,000 - $12,000
Price Realized: $10,412
May 23, 2010
Lot 484
Helen Frankenthaler
Aerie
Estimate: $6,000 - $8,000
June 7, 2009
Lot 485
Helen Frankenthaler
Southern Exposure
Estimate: $6,000 - $8,000
Price Realized: $10,200
June 7, 2009
Lot 497
Helen Frankenthaler
Flotilla
Estimate: $7,000 - $9,000
Price Realized: $5,280
December 7, 2008
Lot 343
Helen Frankenthaler
Midnight
Estimate: $5,000 - $7,000
Price Realized: $5,700
June 18, 2006
Lot 344
Helen Frankenthaler
Broome Street at Night
Estimate: $5,000 - $7,000
Price Realized: $7,800
June 18, 2006

About The Artist

 

Throughout a career spanning over six decades, Helen Frankenthaler (1928–2011) created a dramatic body of highly expressive abstract painting, unmatched in intensity and lyricism. Trained at Bennington College in Vermont, Frankenthaler first encountered the New York art world in 1950 through her relationship with the renowned art critic, Clement Greenberg. Influenced by Abstract Expressionism, and Jackson Pollock’s action paintings in particular, Frankenthaler began her own experiments with the medium, laying canvases on the floor before applying paint. She developed her famous ‘soak stain’ technique, in which she applied paint thinned out with turpentine directly to raw, unprimed canvas. This created a uniquely luminous effect in which the surface of the canvas and the paint merged, appearing to become one entity. Through this technique Frankenthaler emphasized the painting’s flat surface of the canvas; her methods proved influential among her contemporaries including Morris Louis and Kenneth Noland and led to her association with Color Field painting.

Frankenthaler became renowned for her atmospheric work, which rejected the constraints of modernism’s monochromatic grid to create a space of boundless expression, excessive and sublime in equal measure. Frankenthaler was often inspired by encounters with nature, referencing landscapes through rich color and dynamic brushstrokes. As the 1960s and ‘70s dawned, so too did pop art, performance art and other experimental forms. While Frankenthaler remained a committed abstract painter, she was not immune to these dramatic changes in artistic practice, and her lectures from this time asserted that the act of painting would maintain its relevance. The forms of her work grew noticeably hard-edged as she began to work with acrylic paint instead of oils. Her works from this time reveal the artist’s signature balance of control and spontaneity. As Frankenthaler said, “A really good picture looks as if it's happened at once… For my own work, when a picture looks labored and overworked… that has not got to do with beautiful art to me. And I usually throw these out, though I think very often it takes ten of those over-labored efforts to produce one really beautiful wrist motion that is synchronized with your head and heart.” She continued to employ her stain effect, but acrylic provided her with greater control over her effects as it was quicker to dry than oil paint. This sharp shift attests to Frankenthaler’s continued experimentation with forms and materials, long into the latter stages of her career.

Frankenthaler’s reputation was cemented by her retrospective at the Whitney Museum of American Art in 1969. Her work is represented in many esteemed collections including Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Centre Pompidou, Paris.

Dreishpoon, Douglas, Giving Up One’s Mark: Helen Frankenthaler in the 1960s and 1970s. Albright-Knox Art Gallery, 2014. 4. Rose, Barbara, Frankenthaler, Harry N. Abrams, Inc. 1975. 85

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