The work of Helen Frankenthaler (December 12, 1928 - December 27, 2011) is stunning in both its vibrant use of large flat planes of color and its immense scale. She was known as one of the only highly exhibited female abstract expressionists whose style became known as Color Field. I loved her method of working, pouring directly onto raw canvas and initially began my own work in that manner - I see myself returning to it when I study abstract work once again in February. She was influenced by Jackson Pollock, Clement Greenberg & Hans Hoffman and was married to Robert Motherwell for some time. When she experienced her first Pollock exhibit, she spoke highly of his work stating that, "It was all there. I wanted to live in this land. I had to live there, and master the language."
In the 1980's I had the privilege of viewing an exhibit of modern works in Minneapolis - sculptures by Henry Moore, Jacques Lipchitz, Claes Oldenberg; paintings by Pollock, Mark Rothko, Jasper Johns among others - and I developed a huge appreciation for abstract and modern work which I hadn't developed when I studied it in books during my time in college. Each piece drew me in and had me entranced for some time - fortunately a guard watched me closely because I didn't notice my hand stretch forward to attempt to touch the work, my response was quite visceral. I am grateful that I have had the opportunity on more than one occasion to see these great works
Honouring the Ancestors
Great Places Plan