Women Artists in Ascendance

Spotlight on Helen Frankenthaler

Excerpts from Life Magazine, 13th May 1957.  How times have changed.

 

blueterritory1955
Helen Frankenthaler, Blue Territory, 1955

In the art-filled centuries of the past, women rarely took up serious careers as painters or sculptors.  Of the daring few that did, barely a handful achieved any lasting stature.  I America, where during the 19th Century every well-bred young lady learned to while away idle moments painting pious scenes and sedate still lifes, art as a profession was left to men.  Today the picture has changed.  A sizable and remarkable group of young women is resolutely at work and their art is being sought by leading museums, galleries, and collectors.

 

One such young artist of the time was a graduate of Bennington College in Vermont, by the name of Helen Frankenthaler.  She started by painting realistic landscapes and moved towards an abstract style to express her emotional response to nature.  In her New York studio, she spread her canvas on the floor and often worked in the middle of it.  Helen was a major contributor to American postwar painting and she continued to paint and exhibit throughout her life.  Helen died in 2011 aged 83.

 

 

helen-frankenthaler-flirt-3
Helen Frankenthaler, Flirt 1995

 

 

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Author: James Presley

I am an artist and I love it. What do I have to do to live from what I love? I'm not dying or cutting me bloody ear off, that's for sure.

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