Saturday, January 7, 2012

Artist Helen Frankenthaler, 1928-2011

I had every intention of posting on December 27th, when I learned about Helen Frankenthaler's passing. Time slipped away from me, but I believe a tribute to her is still paramount. She was the first Abstract Expressionist to really move me. Seeing her work opened my eyes to other abstract artists. I was a girl who swore by post-impressionist and Fauvist masters like van Gogh and Matisse. But after seeing Mountains & Sea in my art textbook, I would forever be moved by the emotional intensity of color field paintings. There's a subtle boldness in her pieces that resonates deep within me. Frankenthaler taught me to live color fully. She will be missed.

"The landscapes were in my arms as I did it."
"You have to know how to use the accident, how to recognise it, how to control it, and ways to eliminate it so that the whole surface looks felt and born all at once."
"A really good picture looks as if it's happened at once. It's an immediate image."
"One really beautiful wrist motion, that is synchronised with your head and heart, and you have it. It looks as if it were born in a minute."
"I wanted things that I couldn't at times articulate."
"There are no rules. That is how art is born, how breakthroughs happen. Go against the rules or ignore the rules. That is what invention is about."
Go break some rules, and have a splendid weekend while you're at it!

*Portraits by Ernst Haas
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