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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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Artist: Helen Frankenthaler
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

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

Menu from Hans Namuth's Dinner Party
By Helen Frankenthaler
Located in Palm Desert, CA
A mixed media work by Helen Frankenthaler. "Menu from Hans Namuth's Dinner Party" is an abstract painting, mixed media on a menu by American, female, Abstract Expressionist artist He...
Category

Late 20th Century Post-War Helen Frankenthaler Art

Materials

Mixed Media

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

1980s Abstract Expressionist Helen Frankenthaler Art

Materials

Lithograph

Tales of Genji VI
By Helen Frankenthaler
Located in New York, NY
1998 Woodcut with pochoir Image/sheet: 47 x 42 inches Edition of 35 Signed and numbered in pencil, lower right
Category

1990s Abstract Expressionist Helen Frankenthaler Art

Materials

Paper, Woodcut

Solar Imp, Abstract Expressionist Silkscreen by Helen Frankenthaler
By Helen Frankenthaler
Located in Long Island City, NY
Solar Imp by Helen Frankenthaler, American (1928–2011) Date: 2001 Screenprint, signed and numbered in pencil Edition of 112/126 Size: 40 x 30 in. (101.6 x 76.2 cm) Printer: Brand X E...
Category

1980s Abstract Expressionist Helen Frankenthaler Art

Materials

Screen

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

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

"The Clearing" Dark Purple Toned Abstract Woodcut Print
By Helen Frankenthaler
Located in Houston, TX
Dark purple-toned abstract woodcut print by American Abstract Expressionist painter, Helen Frankenthaler. This woodcut is printed in colors with undertones of blue and muted red. Sig...
Category

1990s Abstract Expressionist Helen Frankenthaler Art

Materials

Woodcut

Plaza Real
By Helen Frankenthaler
Located in Toronto, Ontario
Helen Frankenthaler (1928-2011) is one of the most revered and influential abstract painters of the 20th century in addition to being one of the most successful and collected female ...
Category

1970s Abstract Expressionist Helen Frankenthaler Art

Materials

Etching, Aquatint

Untitled (Cleveland Orchestra Print)
By Helen Frankenthaler
Located in New York, NY
A very good impression of this color screenprint on White Arches Cover paper with full margins. Signed and numbered in pencil by Frankenthaler, from an edition of 150. Printed and pu...
Category

1970s Abstract Expressionist Helen Frankenthaler Art

Materials

Color, Screen

Parets
By Helen Frankenthaler
Located in Tbilisi, GE
Signed
Category

1980s Contemporary Helen Frankenthaler Art

Materials

Etching

"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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tales of Genji I
By Helen Frankenthaler
Located in New York, NY
1998 Woodcut in colors from 11 woodblocks Sheet: 42 x 47 in. Edition of 30 Signed and numbered in pencil Framed, excellent condition
Category

1990s Abstract Expressionist Helen Frankenthaler Art

Materials

Woodcut

Sure Violet
By Helen Frankenthaler
Located in New York, NY
Sure Violet, 1979 Signed and numbered Color etching on paper 31 x 44 inches AP 8 of 9
Category

1970s Helen Frankenthaler Art

Materials

Color, Etching

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

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

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

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

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

Aerie
By Helen Frankenthaler
Located in New York, NY
Edition of 128 Signed and numbered in pencil
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Abstract Expressionist Helen Frankenthaler Art

Materials

Screen

Airie
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

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

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

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.

Artists Similar to Helen Frankenthaler

Questions About Helen Frankenthaler Art
  • 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.
  • 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.

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