helen frankenthaler: paintings 1961-1973

two san francisco art galleries are presenting landmark exhibitions of paintings by helen frankenthaler and richard diebenkorn during april, may, and june 2010.

helen frankenthaler | paintings 1961-1973 at the john berggruen gallery opened on 1 april 2010 and runs through 22 may 2010.

helen frankenthaler (b.1928), who was influenced by the techniques of abstract expressionist painters such as jackson pollock, willem de kooning, and mark rothko, led the color field painting movement in new york during the 1950’s.  she developed a gestural painting technique that, by pouring paint over an unprimed instead of a primed canvas, allowed the paint to penetrate and stain the surface.

here are some highlights from the show, which features rarely exhibited paintings from the collections of the artist and other private collectors.  some of the earliest paintings in the exhibition include provincetown l from 1961 and pivitol square from 1962.

helen frankenthaler | provincetown l | oil on canvas | 1961

photo credit john berggruen gallery

helen frankenthaler | pivitol square | oil on canvas | 1962

photo credit john berggruen gallery

helen frankenthaler | gulf stream | oil and acrylic on canvas | 1963

photo credit john berggruen gallery

helen frankenthaler | mountain pool | acrylic on canvas | 1963

photo credit john berggruen gallery

helen frankenthaler | orange underline | acrylic on canvas | 1963

photo credit john berggruen gallery

the san francisco museum of modern art loaned interior landscape from 1964 to the berggruen gallery for the exhibition.

  helen frankenthaler | interior landscape | acrylic on canvas | 1964

photo credit john berggruen gallery

according to art scholar, barbara rose, coalition from 1968 is:

‘among the finest paintings produced anywhere in the late sixties’.

helen frankenthaler | coalition | acrylic on canvas | 1968

photo credit john berggruen gallery

but, harold rosenberg, a new york art critic and proponent of the abstract expressionist movement, described frankenthaler’s post-1960’s work as:

‘mere interior decoration.’

helen frankenthaler | moveable blue | acrylic on canvas | 1973

photo credit john berggruen gallery
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