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Helen Frankenthaler dies at 83

Helen Frankenthaler, a celebrated painter and printmaker, finally succumbed to her long term illness at the age of 83. Throughout her career she has triumphantly created a crossover bridge between Color Field painting and Abstract Expressionism through her – among others — gestural brushwork and shimmering washes.

Lamenting the loss of this painter, who is fondly remembered for her bold color shapes and fluid, the former president of the Knoedler & Co gallery, Ann Freedman, said that finding an artist of her stature would be hard — especially those who are “as open to risk and change”.

What made Helen Frankenthaler special, according to Ann, as one of her close friends, was how she was “…open to everything around her.” People, nature and art included.

Helen’s foray into the world of abstraction and European art may have started during her brief study with the great Hans Hoffman. Whereas it was Symbolist painter Rufino Tamayo who critics believed she acquired her mystical edge from.

The art community remembers Helen most for her work in “Mountains and Sea”, where the artist applied a more refined technique of “staining”. The result was a surreal merge of the rock, ocean and horizon. But more than that, her ability to immerse people with her paintings will always be cherished.

 

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