This gorgeously illustrated volume offers new perspectives on Helen Frankenthaler’s art, taking a detailed look at her large-scale paintings that allude to landscapes, both real and imagined.
Helen Frankenthaler (1928–2011) has long been recognized as one of the great American artists of the twentieth century. A member of the second generation of postwar American abstract painters, she is widely credited with expanding the possibilities of abstraction through her invention of the soak-stain technique, while at times referencing figuration and landscape in highly personal ways. This volume explores references to landscape in Frankenthaler’s paintings over a period spanning more than two decades, beginning in 1952, just prior to her breakthrough to stain painting. Focusing on fourteen works, it examines an extraordinary variety of gesture, from linear drawing to areas of lush, stained color and flatter, more opaque applications of paint. An essay by art historian Robert Slifkin considers the complex evocations of space in Frankenthaler’s works of this period. Richly illustrated with full-color plates, details, and documentary photographs, Imagining Landscapes offers a close and detailed look at the artist’s approach to painting over this twenty-five-year period.