Tuesday, December 27, 2011

In Memoriam...Helen Frankenthaler...Decemer 12,1928-December 27,2011

Helen Frankenthaler...Blue Lady...acrylic on paper...2003...Helen at age 75...

There are many accidents that are nothing but accidents - forget it. But there are some that were brought about only because you are the person you are...you have the wherewithal,intelligence,and energy to recognize it and do something with it...H.F.

I had the landscape in my arms as I painted it. I had the landscape in my mind and shoulder and wrist...Mountains and Sea,1952,National Gallery of Art,Washington,D.C.

I wanted things that I couldn't at times articulate...H.F.

There are no rules.That is how art is born,how breakthroughs happen.Go against the rules or ignore the rules.That is what invention is about...H.F.


Fashion and money,fame and power politics have played a part in all art worlds. You've just got to plug away....I see a revival of the meaning of the word "quality"---a search for truth and beauty in lieu of stock certificates. People are most interested in what's real,what endures....H.F.

     Madame Butterfly,woodblock print,2000

Frankenthaler and Robert Motherwell's living room in the November/December 1967 issue of Art in America...the painting in center is Frankenthaler's Small's Paradise,1964;at left on the wall is Kenneth Noland's Seed,1962,topped by a Hans Hofmann from the fifties.

Helen Frankenthaler in 1967 at the brownstone she shrared with her then husband,fellow artist Robert Motherwell.A Mark Rothko oil painting hangs over the fireplace;the large blue and white painting is Frankenthaler's Blue Tide,1964;above the sofa are two paintings by Motherwell,America Cup,1964 and Figure 4 with a Blue Stripe,1966;the painting on the far right wall is Motherwell's The Homely Protestant,1948;bronzes by Rodin and Matisse are on the coffee table.

Every canvas is a journey all its own...H.F.


  1. Loved this! Was just viewing a painting of hers at the Seattle Art Museum that really drew me in

  2. Thanks for your lovely comment...glad you enjoyed the posting,and Frankenthaler's painting...she was a really fabulous and inventive painter! KF