Helen Frankenthaler was born to a wealthy Manhattan family on December 12, 1928. The family took many trips in the summertime, and it was during these trips that Frankenthaler developed her love of the landscape, sea, and sky.
In the 1960s, Frankenthaler began to use acrylic paint in place of oil. She achieved large washes of bright color in acrylic paintings like Canyon (1965), which reveal the possibilities of this new material. In 1964, her work was included in an exhibition curated by Clement Greenberg at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Identifying this new strain of painting that emerged out of Abstract Expressionism, Greenberg titled the show Post-Painterly Abstraction his preferred title for the style of painting developed by Frankenthaler, Louis, and Noland, which is more generally referred to as Color Field painting. Frankenthaler also began to show her work internationally, exhibiting at the Venice Biennale in 1966 and the United States Pavilion at Expo, in Montreal in 1967. She simultaneously began to develop her proficiency in other artistic media; in particular, she embraced printmaking, creating woodcuts, aquatints, and lithographs that rivaled her painting in its inventiveness and beauty.
Frankenthaler continued making art during the 1980s and 1990s, up through the last years of her life. In addition to her work in painting and printmaking, she has experimented with a variety of other media, including clay and steel sculpture, even designing the sets and costumes for England's Royal Ballet. Several years after being honored at the prominent gallery Knoedler and Company with the exhibition Frankenthaler at Eighty: Six Decades. Frankenthaler died in 2011 at her home in Darien, Connecticut.
Frankenthaler, Helen, and Karen Wilkin. Frankenthaler at Eighty: Six Decades. New York, NY: Knoedler &, 2008.
Fine, Ruth, and Helen Frankenthaler. Helen Frankenthaler: Prints. Washington: National Gallery of Art, 1993.
Helen Frankerthaler: http://www.theartstory.org/artist-frankenthaler-helen.htm
Helen Frankerthaler: http://www.moma.org/collection/artist.php?artist_id=1974
Tribal Sign, 1987, 31 1/2 x 23 3/4 inches