Lot 46: Helen Frankenthaler, “Causeway,” Color Etching & Aquatint, 2001
October 27, 2016
New York, NY, USALive Auction
Etching and aquatint in colors on wove paper
Helen Frankenthaler (1928-2011) – American Abstract Expressionist painter
Published by Doctors Without Borders, New York
Printed by ULAE, New York
Signed and dated “Helen Frankenthaler, 2001” on lower right, recto.
Numbered ‘PP I/IV’ aside from an edition of 100
Provenance: Direct from publisher to Private Collection, NY
Image dimensions: 21 5/8 x 31½ in (54.9 x 80 cm)
Sheet dimensions: 28¼ x 37¾ in (71.8 x 95.9 cm)
Framed dimensions: 43 ½ x 36 ½ x ¾ in (110.49 x 92.71 x 1.91 cm)
Frankenthaler’s groundbreaking invention, pouring diluted washes of pigment over unprimed canvas, better known as stain painting, signaled the beginning of Color Field painting. Her transparent layering of colors are perfectly rendered in the medium of aquatint. This is the last etching that the artist created and, according the printer, required numerous proofing sessions until the artist was satisfied. The title “Causeway” perhaps refers to a thin red line that runs along the bottom of the print, perhaps a reference to the Florida toll road that travels across Biscayne Bay. Created as a benefit print for Doctors without Borders, an organization the artist deeply admired.
Helen Frankenthaler (American, b.1928 - d.2011)
Originally studying under Rufino Tamayo, second-generation Abstract Expressionist Helen Frankenthaler became active in the New York School of the 1950s. Influenced by Arshile Gorky, Willem de Kooning and Jackson Pollock, Frankenthaler gained fame with her ‘soak-stain’ technique – applying thin washes of paint onto raw, unprimed canvas. Her iconic "Mountains and Sea" (1952) was an important work for Morris Louis, Kenneth Noland and other Color Field painters of the 1960s. Her works often evoked elements of landscape or figuration in the shaping of their forms, almost always improvised from start to finish. In addition to paintings, Frankenthaler was also attracted to printmaking – woodcuts, especially – with hers counting among the greatest contemporary works of that medium. Her work is represented in the permanent collections of many institutions worldwide, including the Art Institute of Chicago; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Centre Pompidou, Paris; The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; National Gallery of Australia, Canberra; National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.
In overall excellent condition.
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