A really good picture looks as if it’s happened at once. It’s an immediate image. For my own work, when a picture looks labored and overworked, and you can read in it—well, she did this and then she did that, and then she did that—there is something in it that has not got to do with beautiful art to me. And I usually throw these out, though I think very often it takes ten of those over-labored efforts to produce one really beautiful wrist motion that is synchronized with your head and heart, and you have it, and therefore it looks as if it were born in a minute.”
— Helen Frankenthaler

Helen Frankenthaler’s 1978 Marchioness, acrylic on canvas, was sold at auction in Germany last month. The painting had been stored, and forgotten, in the basement of a home in the South of Germany for thirty years.

The auction, at Ketterer Kunst in Munich, was the first time that one of the much sought-after large-size works by Frankenthaler has been offered on the European auction market.

The painting was estimated to sell for €250,000, the equivalent of $267,500. It sold for €625,000 or $668,750.

Frankenthaler’s Legacy

Frankenthaler’s did much in her six decades of painting to advance, not just painting, but printmaking, as well. She bridged the gap between Abstract Expressionism and Color Field, produced tapestries and ceramics and inspired a resurgent interest in woodcuts. Her stone lithograph technique was simple and elegant.

Her work part of the permanent collections of major museums around the world. MoMA is the home of some of Frankenthaler’s most interesting works, like Sky Frame and East and Beyond.

Frankenthaler received the National Medal of Arts in 2001.

Helen Frankenthaler at VFA

One of Frankenthaler’s greatest talents was combining Color Field with line and design. She perfected her work in print media over the course of her lifetime, working in her Darien, Connecticut studio.

One of the finest examples of her work, available at VFA, is Geisha, a 23 color Ukiyo-e woodcut on Torino paper, done in the ukiyo-e genre of art that was popular in Japan from the 17th through 19th centuries.

Please visit the gallery or contact us for more information about the works of Helen Frankenthaler and the other artists available at Vertu Fine Art.