Helen Frankenthaler's Mountains and Sea

Helen Frankenthaler's Mountains and Sea
Helen Frankenthaler's Mountains and Sea
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This painting of Mountains and Sea, made in 1952, is the great work of the American artist Helen Frankenthaler (1928 – 2011). An image that perfectly captures what was her great artistic discovery, theSoak Staintechnique, something that can be translated as the “soak stain.”

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Helen Frankenthaler's Mountains and Sea

Such a technique consists first of all in placing the canvas on the ground, in a horizontal position, as Jackson Pollock used to do, surely Frankenthale's great reference, although she never it was considered an action painting with various members of Abstract Expressionism. And it is that she considered that in her paintings movement did not prevail but rather fluidity, and that is due to the way she applied color.

The painter used the canvas without any primer, without preparing it to better absorb the paint. Something that she had already experienced at the beginning of her career, the Spanish Joan Miró. ButFrankenthalerwent further, since she completely liquefied oil paints with solvent, that is, with white spirit, turpentine and even kerosene. She and she would pour it on the canvas so that it would filter and absorb it. The result is a kind of stain, which also generates a characteristic effect, and is the kind of aura that surrounds it. Something that gives more dynamism to the image and corrects that first impression thatthis is a watercolor.

Despite the fact that the painter titled this canvas as Mountains and sea, alluding to the fact that she had been inspired by the landscapes she had seen during a vacation in the area of ​​ Nova Scotia, the truth is that it is an abstract image, without any sense of three-dimensionality, since neither the technique nor the author's objective has sought any type of perspective.

The result is curious to say the least, and the truth is that it achieved some success at the time. So much so that it inspired other artists such as Kenneth Noland or Morris Louis, who under similar aesthetic precepts the self-styled movement Color Field Painting , like painting of large fields of color. And not only that, but on many occasions Minimalism artists cite the works of Helen Frankenthaler among their references.

And the fact is that the paintings of this painter had a great diffusion at the time with important exhibitions in the most important galleries and museums of North America, something that of course was based on the artistic quality of his innovative work, but also in his social capacity. Because for a few years, both she and her husband, also a painter Robert Motherwell, became one of the most active and recognized couples in New York high society, something that certainly helps in the art world.

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