Tuesday, December 27, 2011

R.I.P. Helen Frankenthaler

I just learned on Facebook that Helen Frankenthaler died today at age 83. A "Color Field" abstract expressionist, she died after a long illness. I had no idea she was ill. I just placed a candle under one of her prints, shown above, which graces the space over my living room fireplace.

Since so many of the abstract expressionists who "live" on my walls have died, I feel a special sadness - the passing of an era, not "simply" a major contributor to that era, but a woman among men. Her work was beautiful. I've wanted to own an Essence Mulberry woodcut by Frankenthaler (or perhaps Mountains and the Sea, which is in a museum). They have always been out of reach (for me). Now, I'm sure they will remain so.

She was a great artist. May she rest in peace, dancing in heaven with the other abstract expressionists - exuberantly painting heaven's glory with eyes that interpret colors as no one else can.

For an obituary, see the New York Times.

Photo courtesy of Zane Bennett Contemporary Art


Anonymous said...

Beautifully written homage, CG, thank you. This is one of my favorite periods in art, and like you, I loved Frankenthaler. Morris Louis too, obviously.

Charlestongirl said...

Thank you, Anonymous. Morris Louis, Kenneth Noland, Frank Stella, Gene Davis... I used to visit museums and galleries weekly, always gravitating to the abstract expressionists. Maybe that's why I love makeup color so much. There is a similarity, I think.

So sad that so many are gone now.

Mary Steele Lawler said...

I also am mesmerized with the Abstract Expressionists. Would love to sit in front of a Rothko or Kandinsky with a glass of wine during cocktail hour and just unwind with those colors that sing to me. Thank you for a thoughtful, pertinent, and moving post.