Helen Frankenthaler: Radical Beauty at the Dulwich Gallery
Helen Frankenthaler: “Radical Beauty” at the Dulwich Picture Gallery
Helen Frankenthaler — Madame Butterfly detail — 2000
From September 15, 2021 to April 18, 2022, Dulwich Picture Gallery presents ‘Radical Beauty’, the first major UK exhibition of woodblock prints by the leading Abstract Expressionist painter Helen Frankenthaler.
Source: Dulwich Picture Gallery. Image: Helen Frankenthaler, “Madame Butterfly” (detail) 2000 © 2020 Helen Frankenthaler Foundation, Inc. / DACS / Tyler Graphic Ltd., Mount Kisco, NY
Born and raised in New York, Helen Frankenthaler (1928–2011) was one of the leading figures of the second generation of Abstract Expressionism. Although her most famous works are her canvases created in the 1950s and 1960s, in which she experimented with the possibilities of Abstract Expressionism and Color Field painting, she was also an innovator in the field of woodcut, which is the subject of the exhibition at the Dulwich Picture Gallery.
The exhibition allows the viewer to study of the evolution of Frankenthaler’s technique, from her first woodcut, “East and Beyond” (1973), to her great masterpiece, “Madame Butterfly” (2000), a triptych over two metres long that the Gallery describes as “Frankenthaler at her most expressive and lyrical”. In between are the six woodcuts from the ambitious “Tales of Genji” series (1998), as well as “Cameo” (1980) and “Freefall” (1993).
In the words of Jane Findlay, curator of the exhibition, “there is something magical about how breathes life into such a rigid medium, retaining the energy and dynamism — that born at once feeling — that you see in her painting. And with her proofs and process explored alongside we’ll show the painstaking work behind these beguiling works — revealing just how accomplished Frankenthaler was in modulating control and spontaneity in her art.”
“Radical Beauty” coincides in time with the major Joan Mitchell retrospective at SFMOMA, which seems to demonstrate the increasing recognition of the great female painters of Abstract Expressionism and Color Field. #2021 #DulwichPictureGallery #theartwolf