Helen Frankenthaler


"Mountanins and Sea" 7' X 10"

"Frankenthaler's career was launched in 1952 with the exhibition of Mountains and Sea. This painting is large - measuring seven feet by ten feet - and has the effect of a watercolour though it is painted in oils. In it, she introduced the technique of painting directly onto an unprepared canvas so that the material absorbs the colors. She heavily diluted the oil paint with turpentine so that the color would soak into the canvas. This technique, known as "soak stain" was used by Jackson Pollock and others; and was adopted by other artists (notably Morris Louis and Kenneth Noland) and launched the second generation of the Color Field school of painting. This method would sometimes leave the canvas with a halo effect around each area to which the paint was applied but has a disadvantage in that the oil in the paints will eventually cause the canvas to discolor and rot away".  Quote from Wikipedia

Frankenthaler said "A really good picture looks as if it's happened at once. It's an immediate image. For my own work, when a picture looks labored and overworked, and you can read in it—well, she did this and then she did that, and then she did that—there is something in it 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, and you have it, and therefore it looks as if it were born in a minute." (In Barbara RoseFrankenthaler (New York:Harry N. Abrams, Inc. 1975, p. 85)