Phillips, De Pury & Luxembourg /Nov 16, 2017
€776,531.49 - €1,035,375.32
Artworks in Arcadja1001
Some works of Helen FrankenthalerExtracted between 1,001 works in the catalog of Arcadja
Auction: Sotheby's -Dec 15, 2017 - New-yorkLot number: 62
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Helen Frankenthaler (1928 - 2011) Lot 62: HELEN FRANKENTHALER (1928 - 2011) | Tiger's Eye (Harrison 131) Description: Aquatint, lithograph, etching and screenprint in colors, 1987, signed in pencil, dated and numbered 48/56 (total edition includes 14 artist's proofs), on HMP handmade paper, with the blindstamp of the publisher, Tyler Graphics Ltd., Mount Kisco, New York, framed Dimensions: sheet: 476 by 560 mm 18 3/4 by 22 in
Auction: Bonhams -Dec 5, 2017 - New-yorkLot number: 106
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Helen Frankenthaler (1928-2011) Flirt, 1995 Screenprint in colors on Somerset paper, signed in pencil and with the screenprinted signature, numbered 32/126 (there were also 10 artist's proofs), published by Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, New York, the full sheet, framed. sheet 27 x 39 1/2in (68.6 x 100.3cm)
Auction: Sotheby's -Nov 17, 2017 - New-yorkLot number: 162
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FOUR COLOR SPACE Helen Frankenthaler 1928 - 2011 Provenance André Emmerich Gallery, New York Christie's, New York, 8 May 1984, Lot 21 Acquired from the above sale by the present owner Exhibited New York, André Emmerich Gallery, Helen Frankenthaler: An Exhibition of New Paintings, October 1966, illustrated in the exhibition brochure Los Angeles, Nicholas Wilder Gallery, Helen Frankenthaler, March - April 1967 Detroit, Gertrude Kasle Gallery, Helen Frankenthaler: Paintings, April - May1967 Literature Barbara Rose,Frankenthaler, New York 1970, no. 162, illustrated John Elderfield,Frankenthaler, New York 1988, p. 189, illustrated Catalogue Note "The trio of 1966 pictures,Three Color Space, Four Color Space,andFive Color Space, suggests that part of what she meant was that she would now explore pictorial concepts in painting and thereby discover pictures rather than consciously, separately compose each individual work. The titles of these pictures explain their motivation. Their realization makes no concession to the idea that a work of art should be a carefully nurtured and modulated complex of parts harmoniously combined: they are uncompromising, even brash pictures." Jonn Elderfield,Frankenthaler, New York 1988, pp. 189-202 In Helen Frankenthaler\’s Four Color Space from 1966, richly saturated pools of color bleed off the edges of the canvas, flooding the peripheral membrane of the picture plane in four sensationally organic and atmospheric puddles of color. Particularly special is the manner in which Frankenthaler has left the center of the canvas untouched, actively recalling the powerful open-centered formats of Morris Louis\’s Unfurleds of the early 1960s. Having cultivated her signature canvas staining technique by pouring paint onto large unstretched, unprimed canvases laid on the floor, Frankenthaler then began to experiment in 1965 with the idea of \“cropping\” the picture after the canvas had been painted–thus discovering and determining the composition through a retroactive process. In the present work, Frankenthaler\’s cropping technique reigns supreme, as we are given the sense that the picture is flooded from the inside-out, with paint flowing past the borders of the canvas in infinite capacity. The year 1966 was marked not only by Frankenthaler\’s nascent investigations into new compositional cropping techniques, but also by the mutual convergence of her work towards that of her husband Robert Motherwell. In 1966 Motherwell first initiated his series characterized by expansive color fields that explored dualities of presence and absence, a series that would officially be called the Open paintings and constitute his largest body of work. Comparable to Motherwell, Frankenthaler demonstrates in Four Color Space an undeniable quality of measured restraint rooted in the simplification of her visual vocabulary to basic geometric elements. Four Color Space embraces modulated emptiness at the center of the composition in favor of activated color fields around the margins that exude with centrifugal force into an existential continuum. A paragon of Frankenthaler\’s beloved stained canvases from her early career, the present work revels in the arresting synergy of color forms that never blend but rather meld at the contours in an utterly breathtaking fashion.
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Warming the Wires. signed and dated ""Frankenthaler '76" lower right; further titled and dated "'WARMING THE WIRES' NOV. 1976" on the reverse. acrylic on canvas. 84 x 114 in. (213.4 x 289.6 cm.). Painted in 1976. Provenance: André Emmerich Gallery Inc., New York. Private Collection, New York (acquired from the above in 1977). Acquired from the above by the present owner. Exhibited: Ridgefield, Connecticut, Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art, CHANGES, May 22 - September 11, 1983, n.p. (illustrated). Literature: John Elderfield, Helen Frankenthaler, New York, 1989, pp. 278, 288 (illustrated, p. 276). Katie Roipe, The Morning After, New York, 1993 (illustrated, cover). Catalogue Essay: Helen Frankenthaler: With Nature. Carter Ratcliff. Carter Ratcliff is a Contributing Editor at Art in America and the author of The Fate of a Gesture: Jackson Pollock and Postwar American Art. Taking command of the canvas with a flood of chromatic energy, Warming the Wires, 1976, is a painting of unparalleled quality from the decade that saw the artist working consistently at the height of her powers. Helen Frankenthaler emerged early in the 1950s, the leading figure in a narrative that traces the advent of color-field painting, one of the most significant developments in post-war American art. The story begins with a meeting recounted so often that it has acquired the status of a myth. In 1952, Frankenthaler invited the critic Clement Greenberg to her studio to see a painting she had just finished. Entitled Mountains and Sea, it is abstract, though its luminous greens, blues, and orangey reds evoke a landscape scintillating with summer light. Deeply impressed, Greenberg arranged for the painters Morris Louis and Kenneth Noland to have a look at Mountains and Sea. More than impressed, they were stunned. At twenty-five years of age, Frankenthaler had achieved what until then had been unimaginable. She had found a use for Jackson Pollock\’s drip-and-spatter technique that was not mere imitation. Pouring her high-keyed pigments in wide swathes, she soaked them into the very weave of the canvas. Here was a new idea of what painting could be. As Louis said, Mountains and Sea formed \“a bridge between Pollock and what was possible\” (Morris Louis, quoted in John Elderfield, Morris Louis, exh. cat., Museum of Modern Art, New York, 1986, p. 13). And of course the painting launched Frankenthaler into her own future. With Warming the Wires, she realizes possibilities that, even in hindsight, are just barely visible in Mountains and Sea. In the earlier painting, colors hover. In Warming the Wires, they surge across the canvas, taking possession of its blankness and charging it with the graceful, athletic energy captured in photographs of Frankenthaler at work. Hers was a risk-filled method, which the finished state of Warming the Wires converts to pictorial serenity. Nonetheless, we feel her presence – the exultant, improvisatory force of her intention – in the painting\’s currents of blue, pinkish maroon, and other colors too subtly intermingled to be named. From a distance, we see its grand architecture, the blocks of color juxtaposed with such confidence that they account for the entire canvas without having to occupy all it of it. Frankenthaler\’s forms have a vigor that reaches, pictorially, beyond their actual limits. And when we move in for a closer look, we see grandeur give way to the seductions of nuance. With its large, stained-in expanse of blue, Warming the Wires acknowledges the flatness of the canvas. Yet an admixture of white gives depths to this blue, and white occasionally breaks free to become a shape in its own right—or it appears as a texture laid on with a brush. Frankenthaler was not dogmatic about method. She used whatever means she deemed necessary in the creative moment. Likewise, she treated art-critical dogma as provisional, at best. According to Greenberg, who saw in Frankenthaler\’s art a major justification of his theory of modernism, painting must confine itself to high-keyed color. Line is forbidden. Not one to follow anybody else\’s rules, Frankenthaler reiterates the angle of Warming the Wires\’s upper-right hand corner with linear streaks of white and, to the left, sends a horizontal filament of color into an otherwise empty void. A masterpiece of gestural abstraction, Warming the Wires owes its strength not only its maker\’s command of her medium but also to her courage – her utterly unfettered sense of possibility. Critically acclaimed from the outset of her career, Frankenthaler has a secure and prominent place in art history. Yet the full impact of Warming the Wires will go unfelt unless we take a larger view, one opened up by questions about the self and its relationship with the world – perennial questions that focused early in the modern era on the elusive idea of \“nature.\” Toward the end of the 1980s, Frankenthaler said, \“Anything that has beauty and provides order (as opposed to chaos or shock alone), anything resolved in a picture (as in nature) gives pleasure—a sense of rightness, as in being one with nature\” (Helen Frankenthaler, quoted in Frankenthaler: Paintings on Paper, Miami, 2003, p. 30). By implying that, when she paints, she overcomes an estrangement from nature, the artist shows an intuitive grasp of our culture\’s richest idea of the natural world, as a somehow conscious unity endlessly fragmented by the emergence of individual consciousness. In the writings of such philosophers and poets as Friedrich Schelling, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, and their intellectual heirs, this account of nature becomes abstruse and ultimately imponderable. However, certain works of art give us the vivid experience of self and world reunited on terms that redefine them both, not theoretically but through painterly actions like the ones that generated Warming the Wires. With this picture, Frankenthaler presents a unique vision of nature – of natural \“rightness\” – and of herself as a uniquely creative force. Requiring painters to work at a remove from their subjects, traditional representation maintains the gap between self and nature. And so it is understandable that Frankenthaler quickly left behind the minute specifics of the external world. In her mature work, she alludes to sky and water and other elements of landscape only obliquely, if at all. Likewise, the light-struck later paintings of J.M.W. Turner hover on the verge of abstraction, as do the canvases Claude Monet painted toward the end of his life. Nearer to our time, Pollock—who once declared, \“I am nature\”—exiled all hints of identifiable subject matter from his art for half a decade. In his drip paintings of the late 1940s, the unity of self and nature has the feel of crisis overcome, time and again, by sudden improvisation. In Monet, this unity is meditative and, in Turner, apocalyptic. Frankenthaler achieves oneness with nature in a mood of exaltation. Risking much with every gesture, she does so not just willingly but, as Warming the Wires demonstrates, with a joyousness tinged by magisterial self-confidence.
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Sale 2463 Lot 33 HELEN FRANKENTHALER Flotilla. Color screenprint on Rives BFK, 2006. 790x940 mm; 31x37 inches, full margins. Signed, dated and numbered 26/120 in pencil, lower left. Printed by Brand X Editions, Ltd., New York. Published by Lincoln Center/List Poster and Print Program, New York. A very good impression with vibrant colors.