BORN 1928 - 2011, American
What Red Lines Can Do, 1970
4 color Silkscreen, ss #9/75
Signature/date: Lower right: Frankenthaler '70 (numbered and inscribed ss(for original silkscreen), lower right.Screens destroyed after printing
Misc.Info: Ref: Frankenthaler, catalogue Raisonne: What Red Lines Can Do, 1970
According to a press release put out by Bonhams on May 16, 2012, Helen Frankenthaler topped their Contemporary Art Auction in New York this year.
b. 1928, New York City; d. 2011, Darien, Connecticut
Helen Frankenthaler was born in New York in 1928 and was raised on the Upper East side. Her father, Alfred Frankenthaler, was a New York State Supreme Court judge. In 1945 she graduated from the Dalton School, where she studied with the Mexican painter Rufino Tamayo and then went on to study at Bennington College in Vermont at his recommendation. Following graduation, she studied privately with Hans Hofmann in Provincetown, Massachusetts. She eventually returned to her hometown of Manhattan and painted full-time. There, later that same year, while organizing an exhibition at the Jacques Seligmann gallery, she met Clement Greenberg, through whom she would meet some of the central figures of the New York School, including Willem de Kooning, Lee Krasner, Jackson Pollock, and David Smith.
Frankenthaler became a proponent of Abstract Expressionism, and was an artist in a community dominated by men male critics and male artists. Despite that, she flourished and received positive reviews and had solo shows at top notch galleries.
In 1958 Frankenthaler married Robert Motherwell.
Frankenthaler taught at Harvard, Princeton, Yale, and New York universities. Her first solo exhibition took place at the Tibor de Nagy Gallery, New York, in the fall of 1951 followed by many more solo exhibitions of her work including retrospectives at the Jewish Museum, New York (1960); Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (1969); Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, Massachusetts (1980); Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York (1985); and the Museum of Modern Art, New York (1989). Her many awards include First Prize for Painting at the first Paris Biennial (1959); Joseph E. Temple Gold Medal, Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Philadelphia (1968); New York City Mayor's Award of Honor for Arts and Culture (1986); and Distinguished Artist Award for Lifetime Achievement, College Art Association (1994).
Frankenthaler's work is represented in institutional collections worldwide, including the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto; Art Institute of Chicago; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Centre Pompidou, Paris; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Museum of Modern Art, New York; National Gallery of Australia, Canberra; National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; and Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.
Frankenthaler passed away in Darien, Connecticut in 2011.