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Helen Frankenthaler Art

American, 1928-2011

Prolific and pioneering painter Helen Frankenthaler said it was “a combination of impatience, laziness and innovation” that drove her to thin her paints with turpentine so that they would seep into the fabric of an unprimed canvas. Her breakthrough in the early 1950s led the way for a spellbinding new style of painting that would come to be known as Color Field.

Although Color Field is often considered a strain of Abstract Expressionism, Frankenthaler’s work differed from the gestural “Action Painting” that typified the paintings of artists like Willem de Kooning and Lee Krasner. Her vast and immersive expanses of color created at a fearless scale captivated art critics and greatly influenced her peers including Morris Louis and Kenneth Noland.

Frankenthaler knew from an early age that she wanted to be a painter. The youngest daughter of a New York State Supreme Court justice, she grew up on Manhattan’s Park Avenue and as a child delighted in the little ways color and form revealed themselves, whether dribbling red nail polish in a sink full of water or drawing her steps from the Metropolitan Museum of Art to her family’s apartment. As a student at Bennington College, her rare vision was enriched by the mentorship of painter Paul Feeley, who gave her lessons in Cubism. After dabbling in art history at Columbia University, she rented a studio downtown and befriended rising New York art stars like Jackson Pollock and Robert Motherwell, whom she later married.

Characterized by “direct, exuberant gestures,” the Abstract Expressionist technique was all about gusto, and Frankenthaler had it in spades. One of the few women of this era to garner widespread critical acclaim, Frankenthaler had a significant impact on the mid-20th-century art world. She exhibited in the high-profile 1951 Ninth Street Show and, in 1957, she appeared in a Life magazine spread on women artists photographed by Gordon Parks. In 1960, the Jewish Museum held her first major museum show, a retrospective of her 1950s work. A 1969 solo exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art further introduced Frankenthaler to the broader art world.

While Frankenthaler remains best known for bold, expressive “soak-stain” paintings such as Mountains and Sea (1952), she worked across diverse media for decades, with forays into woodcutting, drawing and printmaking that also pushed boundaries. She also taught at Harvard, Yale and Princeton, fostering generations of artists. She died in 2011.

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Yellow Jack
By Helen Frankenthaler
Located in New York, NY
A very good impression of this large lithograph with strong colors and stencil on White Arches Cover paper. Signed, dated "'85-'87" and numbered 51/54 in pencil by Frankenthaler. Pri...
Category

1980s Abstract Expressionist Helen Frankenthaler Art

Materials

Color, Lithograph, Stencil

Tribal Sign
By Helen Frankenthaler
Located in London, GB
Lithograph in colours, 1987, on TGL handmade paper, signed, dated and numbered in pencil, a printer’s proof aside from the edition of 47, published by Tyler Graphics Ltd., Mt. Kisco,...
Category

1980s Abstract Helen Frankenthaler Art

Materials

Handmade Paper, Lithograph

Works on Paper 1949-1984 (Hand signed and inscribed to Dick Polich of Tallix)
By Helen Frankenthaler
Located in New York, NY
Helen Frankenthaler Frankenthaler, Works on Paper 1949-1984 (Hand signed and inscribed to Dick Polich, Founder of Tallix Foundry), 1986 Softcover monograph (book), hand signed and da...
Category

1980s Abstract Expressionist Helen Frankenthaler Art

Materials

Offset

Solar Imp
By Helen Frankenthaler
Located in New York, NY
A very good impression of this color screenprint on cream wove paper. Signed and numbered in pencil by Frankenthaler. From an edition of 126. Printed by Brand X Editions, Ltd., New Y...
Category

Early 2000s Abstract Expressionist Helen Frankenthaler Art

Materials

Color, Screen

Helen Frankenthaler Connected by Joy 1969-73 Signed Aquatint & Etching 3/27 Fram
By Helen Frankenthaler
Located in Keego Harbor, MI
A quintessentially modern four-color aquatint & etching titled Connect by Joy 1969-73 by abstract expressionist painter Helen Frankenthaler. Hand signed and dated on the bottom right...
Category

1970s Vintage Helen Frankenthaler Art

Materials

Paper

The Darker Palette
By Helen Frankenthaler
Located in New York, NY
Helen Frankenthaler Frankenthaler: The Darker Palette (Hand signed twice and inscribed), 1998 Offset Lithograph 42 × 35 in Edition of 100 hand signed "Frankenthaler" lower left; insc...
Category

1990s Abstract Expressionist Helen Frankenthaler Art

Materials

Offset

Sun Corner
By Helen Frankenthaler
Located in Saint Augustine, FL
An original signed screenprint on core-filled, baked aluminum panel by American artist Helen Frankenthaler (1928-2011) titled "Sun Corner", 1968. Hand signed, numbered, and dated (in...
Category

1960s Abstract Expressionist Helen Frankenthaler Art

Materials

Metal

Altitudes
By Helen Frankenthaler
Located in Saint Augustine, FL
An original signed lithograph on light yellow-pink J.B. Green Hayle Mill Bodleian handmade paper by American artist Helen Frankenthaler (1928-2011) titled "Altitudes", 1978. Hand pen...
Category

1970s Abstract Expressionist Helen Frankenthaler Art

Materials

Handmade Paper, Lithograph

Untitled Abstract Expressionist silkscreen (Harrison 11)
By Helen Frankenthaler
Located in New York, NY
Helen Frankenthaler Untitled (Harrison 11), 1967 Silkscreen on Arches double-weight watercolor paper Edition 23/100 Hand signed and numbered in graphite 23/100 lower front with Chiro...
Category

1960s Abstract Expressionist Helen Frankenthaler Art

Materials

Screen

Frankenthaler (Hand signed and inscribed)
By Helen Frankenthaler
Located in New York, NY
Helen Frankenthaler Frankenthaler (Hand signed and inscribed), 1988 Offset lithograph (hand signed and inscribed to renowned collectors) Hand signed and warmly inscribed in ink on th...
Category

1980s Abstract Expressionist Helen Frankenthaler Art

Materials

Offset

Flotilla, Abstract Expressionist Silkscreen by Helen Frankenthaler
By Helen Frankenthaler
Located in Long Island City, NY
Flotilla by Helen Frankenthaler, American (1928–2011) Date: 2006 Screenprint on Rives BFK, signed, numbered, and dated in pencil Edition of 20/120 Size: 31 x 37 in. (78.74 x 93.98 cm...
Category

Early 2000s Abstract Expressionist Helen Frankenthaler Art

Materials

Screen

Live from Lincoln Center, 20th Year (Eve)
By Helen Frankenthaler
Located in Long Island City, NY
Artist: Helen Frankenthaler (after), American (1928 - 2011) Title: Live from Lincoln Center, 20th Year (Eve) Year: 1995 Medium: Lithograph Poster, signed in the plate Size: 48 in. x ...
Category

1990s Abstract Expressionist Helen Frankenthaler Art

Materials

Lithograph

Sunshine after Rain, Abstract Expressionist Etching by Helen Frankenthaler
By Helen Frankenthaler
Located in Long Island City, NY
Date: 1987 Etching, aquatint, and drypoint on Fabriano Rosapina paper, signed, numbered, and dated in pencil Edition of 14/67 Image Size: 33.5 x 27 inches Size: 46.25 x 36.5 in. (117...
Category

1980s Abstract Expressionist Helen Frankenthaler Art

Materials

Drypoint, Etching, Aquatint

Un poco más
By Helen Frankenthaler
Located in Tbilisi, GE
Signed
Category

1980s Abstract Expressionist Helen Frankenthaler Art

Materials

Lithograph

Parets
By Helen Frankenthaler
Located in Tbilisi, GE
Signed
Category

1980s Contemporary Helen Frankenthaler Art

Materials

Etching

Spring Run XVI
By Helen Frankenthaler
Located in New York, NY
Vivid color monotype by American Abstract Expressionist artist Helen Frankenthaler, signed by the artist in pencil, lower right. Printed and published in collaboration with Tyler Gr...
Category

Late 20th Century Abstract Expressionist Helen Frankenthaler Art

Materials

Monotype

"Parets" original colograph by Helen Frankenthaler,
By Helen Frankenthaler
Located in Hinsdale, IL
Helen Frankenthaler (1928-2011) "Parets" Collagraph drawn with Araldite glue, c. 1988 Printed in light burnt sienna from one steel plate, off white handmade paper Signed in lowe...
Category

1980s Abstract Expressionist Helen Frankenthaler Art

Materials

Mixed Media

Helen Frankenthaler Color Etching
By Helen Frankenthaler
Located in West Palm Beach, FL
Ganymede, 1978 Etching with aquatint 9/49 Pencil signed and dated by the artist.       
Category

1970s North American Vintage Helen Frankenthaler Art

Materials

Paper

Serigraph by Helen Frankenthaler Titled "Aerie", 2009
By Helen Frankenthaler
Located in Stamford, CT
"Aerie" by Helen Frankenthaler, Signed and with edition number 99/128. Sheet size is 29.5 x 38.75 inches, framed in a 12 karat white gold frame using acid free materials with UV plex...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary American Mid-Century Modern Helen Frankenthaler Art

Materials

Paper

Tribal Sign
By Helen Frankenthaler
Located in New York, NY
Tribal Sign, 1987 Signed and dated in pencil with publisher's blindstamp Eleven color lithograph on mauve TGL handmade paper Sheet: 24 x 18.5 inches Frame: 33 x 27 inches Edition 25 ...
Category

1980s Helen Frankenthaler Art

Materials

Color, Lithograph

Snow Pines
By Helen Frankenthaler
Located in New York, NY
2004 Thirty-four color Ukiyo-e woodcut printed from 16 woodblocks on Torinoko paper and mounted onto Fabriano Classico paper Image/sheet: 37 1/2 x 26 inches Edition of 65 Signed and ...
Category

Early 2000s Abstract Expressionist Helen Frankenthaler Art

Materials

Paper, Woodcut

Aerie
By Helen Frankenthaler
Located in San Francisco, CA
Original screenprint in 93 colors on wove paper. Stamp-signed lower right Frankenthaler. A superb example from the edition of 128, numbered in pencil lower left. Published by Linc...
Category

Early 2000s Post-War Helen Frankenthaler Art

Materials

Screen

Japanese Maple
By Helen Frankenthaler
Located in New York, NY
2005 Sixteen color Ukiyo-e style woodcut Image/sheet: 26 x 38 in. Edition of 50 Signed, dated and numbered in pencil, lower margin
Category

Early 2000s Abstract Expressionist Helen Frankenthaler Art

Materials

Paper, Woodcut

Weeping Crabapple
By Helen Frankenthaler
Located in New York, NY
2009 Thirty-one color Ukiyo-e style woodcut Image/sheet: 25 1/4 x 37 1/4 in. Edition of 50 Signed, dated and numbered in pencil, lower margin
Category

Early 2000s Abstract Expressionist Helen Frankenthaler Art

Materials

Handmade Paper, Woodcut

Soho Dreams
By Helen Frankenthaler
Located in New York, NY
1987 Etching, aquatint and drypoint in colors, on wove paper Sheet: 15 3/4 x 18 3/4 in. Edition of 71 Signed, dated and numbered in pencil, lower margin
Category

1980s Abstract Expressionist Helen Frankenthaler Art

Materials

Paper, Drypoint, Etching, Aquatint

Sudden Snow
By Helen Frankenthaler
Located in New York, NY
1987 Lithograph in colors, on wove paper Sheet: 31 5/8 x 23 1/2 in. Edition of 50 Signed, dated and numbered in pencil, lower margin
Category

1980s Abstract Expressionist Helen Frankenthaler Art

Materials

Paper, Lithograph

Bronze Smoke
By Helen Frankenthaler
Located in New York, NY
1978 Lithograph in colors, on brown wove paper Sheet: 31 1/2 x 22 1/2 in. Edition of 38 Signed, dated and numbered in pencil, lower margin
Category

1970s Abstract Expressionist Helen Frankenthaler Art

Materials

Paper, Lithograph

Tales of Genji VI (from a Suite of Six Woodcuts)
By Helen Frankenthaler
Located in Park City, UT
Helen Frankenthaler 'Tales of Genji VI' 47 × 42 in (119.4 × 106.7 cm Edition of 35 Hand-signed and numbered by artist on lower right with chop mark lower right and titled on verso
Category

1990s Helen Frankenthaler Art

Materials

Linocut, Woodcut

Causeway
By Helen Frankenthaler
Located in New York, NY
An image of ethereal beauty, Helen Frankenthaler created Causeway in 2001 after a lifetime of experimentation with etching and aquatint.  Hand-signed, dated and numbered in pencil, t...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Abstract Helen Frankenthaler Art

Materials

Etching, Aquatint

Bronze Smoke
By Helen Frankenthaler
Located in New York, NY
1978 Screenprint in colors Sheet: 31 1/2 x 22 1/2 in. Edition of 38 Signed, dated and numbered in pencil, lower margin
Category

1970s Abstract Expressionist Helen Frankenthaler Art

Materials

Screen

Soho Dreams
By Helen Frankenthaler
Located in New York, NY
1987 Color etching, aquatint, drypoint Sheet: 15 3/4 x 18 3/4 in. Edition of 71 Signed, dated and numbered in pencil, lower margin
Category

1980s Abstract Expressionist Helen Frankenthaler Art

Materials

Drypoint, Etching, Aquatint

Weeping Crabapple
By Helen Frankenthaler
Located in New York, NY
2009 Thirty-one color ukiyo-e woodcut Sheet: 25 1/4 x 37 1/4 in. (64.1 x 94.6 cm) Edition of 50 Signed, dated and numbered in pencil
Category

Early 2000s Abstract Expressionist Helen Frankenthaler Art

Materials

Woodcut

Lilac Sweep
By Helen Frankenthaler
Located in New York, NY
2006 Lithograph in colors, on wove paper Sheet: 22 1/4 x 27 1/2 in. (56.5 x 69.9 cm) Edition of 35 Signed and numbered in pencil, lower margin Framed, excellent condition
Category

Early 2000s Abstract Expressionist Helen Frankenthaler Art

Materials

Paper, Lithograph

Weeping Crabapple
By Helen Frankenthaler
Located in New York, NY
2009 Thirty-one color ukiyo-e woodcut 25 1/4 x 37 1/4 in. (64.1 x 94.6 cm) Edition of 50 Signed, dated and numbered in pencil Unframed, pristine condition
Category

Early 2000s Abstract Expressionist Helen Frankenthaler Art

Materials

Woodcut

The Red Sea
By Helen Frankenthaler
Located in New York, NY
1978 Lithograph in colors, on pink handmade paper Sheet: 23 1/4 x 27 22/25 inches Edition of 58 Signed, dated and numbered in pencil Framed, mint condition
Category

1970s Abstract Expressionist Helen Frankenthaler Art

Materials

Lithograph

Helen Frankenthaler art for sale on 1stDibs

1stDibs offers a wide variety of authentic Helen Frankenthaler art for sale. You can find work that includes elements of orange, yellow and other colors if you are browsing the collection of art to introduce a pop of color in a neutral corner of your living room or bedroom. You can also browse by medium to find art by Helen Frankenthaler in etching, lithograph, woodcut print and more. Much of this artist's original work was created during the 20th century and is mostly associated with the abstract style. Not every interior allows for large Helen Frankenthaler art, so small editions measuring 17.5 inches across are available. Customers who are interested in this artist might also find the work of Larry Zox, Dan Christensen and Paul Jenkins. On 1stDibs, the price for these items starts at US$1,800 and tops out at US$75,000, while the average work can sell for US$12,000.

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Questions About Helen Frankenthaler Art
  • 1stDibs ExpertMarch 22, 2022
    Helen Frankenthaler was known for her Abstract-expressionist art. She became well known for her 1952 painting Mountains and Sea. It was the first time she employed the soak-stain painting technique that would become a hallmark of her later work. You'll find a variety of Helen Frankenthaler art on 1stDibs.
  • 1stDibs ExpertApril 5, 2022
    Helen Frankenthaler is an American abstract expressionist painter that was known for inventing a technique referred to as soak-stain. Soak staining is a process using thinned paint and raw canvas, similar to painting fabric. Shop a range of Helen Frankenthaler work on 1stDibs.
  • 1stDibs ExpertApril 5, 2022
    Helen Frankenthaler mostly did paintings. The American artist's work reflects the characteristics of Abstract Expressionism. Mountains and Sea, Snow Pines, Aerie and Grey Fireworks are among her most famous paintings. You can find a range of Helen Frankenthaler art on 1stDibs.

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