Helen Frankenthaler (1928-2011) is our inaugural Oeuvre Muse.
One of the great American artists of the twentieth century, she produced an Oeuvre (body of work) whose profound impact on contemporary art continues to grow to this day.
We are enthralled by her evocative color field stain paintings and are inspired by her endlessly fascinating artistic milieu.
The 29 year old artist: “pouty, confident, and serene” shot in her studio by Gordon Parks, for a 1957 article in Life magazine titled “Woman Artists in Ascendance.”
Helen Frankenthaler, Abstract Expressionist painter, in her studio in May 1960. by Ben Martin
Nature Abhors a Vacuum, 1973, Acrylic on canvas, 103 1/2 x 112 1/2 inches (262.9 x 285.8 cm)
A must-read introduction to the complexities of Frankenthaler's seemingly charmed life and work is "Fierce Poise" a 2021 biography by author Alexander Nemerov.
Contemporary critics complained her paintings looked like “a rag for wiping brushes.” Fellow painter Joan Mitchell famously called her “that Kotex painter,” for which she later apologised...
"People were, in a word, jealous, and they had a right to be, given her advantages. The thing about the green-eyed monster is that it feeds most ravenously on real talent. Frankenthaler had it. Her confidence in her work persisted in the early years - even after she failed to sell a single piece." (excerpted from a review in the L.A.Times this spring by Jessica Ferri.)