Helen Frankenthaler has received international recognition since the 1950s, when, in her twenties, she emerged as a leading New York artist who played a pivotal role in the transition from Abstract Expressionism to the Colorfield painting of the 1960s. While she is perhaps best known for her radiant canvases, it is in her intimate works on paper, which are less familiar, that she first experimented with aspects of her innovative style and techniques. In this body of work can be found her initial essays with staining, an important element in her work of the late 1960s, as well as her 'clumps' of paint set directly on the paper surface, which figure prominently in her most recent production. Over the past decade, in fact, the artist's works on paper have assumed a stature equal to that of her canvases and often catch the most highly charged and vibrant aspects of her art. By focusing on these works on paper, Frankenthaler's masterful use of drawing, space, and colour is redefined to shed new light on her entire career.About the Author:
Karen Wilkin is an art historian and critic who specialises in modern painting and sculpture. Born and raised in New York City, she studied at Barbard College and Columbia University. The former chief curator of The Edmonton Art Gallery, Ms. Wilkin is the author of a monograph on David Smith and is a contributing editor to the first major publication on Jack Bush.
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