Frankenthaler, Helen (1928–)

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Frankenthaler, Helen (1928–)

American artist. Born Dec 12, 1928, in New York, NY; 1st studied with Mexican painter Rufino Tamayo at the Dalton School; Bennington College, BA, 1949, where she studied with Paul Feeley; studied at Arts Students League in NY and with Hans Hoffmann in Provincetown, MA; m. Robert Motherwell (artist), 1958.

One of the defining artists of American Abstract Expressionism, developed her own approach to painting, despite being strongly influenced by Arshile Gorky and Jackson Pollock; changed the direction of Abstract Expressionism when she began pouring cans of paint onto an unprepared canvas (1952), a style known as "soak stain" which later influenced "color-field painting"; exhibited work in America at the Tibor de Nagy Gallery and Emmerich Gallery, among others, and in Paris (1961, 1963), Milan (1962), London (1964, 1969), Berlin (1969) and Montreal (1971); taught painting and drawing at educational institutions, including New York University, Hunter College, University of Pennsylvania, Yale University, and Princeton University. Had numerous one-woman exhibitions of her work, including retrospectives at the Whitney Museum (1969) and Museum of Modern Art (MoMA, 1989); works Blue Territory (1955) and Arden (1961) are both at the Whitney.

See also John Elderfield, Helen Frankenthaler (Abrams, 1997).