Friday, November 13, 2009

Helen Frankenthaler ~ Spaced Out Orbit

Here it is Week 46 of 52 Pieces. That leaves six more weeks. For all of you who read this regularly you'll notice that I seldom write too very much about myself. Spaced Out Orbit combined with Orphee last night has put a different slant on my perspective. Helen Frankenthaler is our person of the week. She is an outstanding artist who was the one who put the color field painters on the map. Not to say that they would have never gotten there but, hey, they were all men – Kenneth Noland, Jules Ulitski (my favorite), Jackson Pollock and the whole raft of others who floated into the genre. Without her in 1952, thinning out her paint mixture and flowing it onto her unprimed canvas to create Mountains and Sea, all of those men would have continued on as Abstract Expressionists for who knows how many years.

There are any number of biographies of Helen Frankenthaler out there that will tell you that and that she and Clement Greenberg were lovers before she married Robert Motherwell, that she was the daughter of a prominent New York judge, that she was well educated and that she held her own in the 50's 60's and on into the 21st century. Helen Frankenthaler celebrated her 80th birthday in 2008 on December 12. She has created works of art in painting and printmaking for more than sixty years. Well, I've written almost two paragraphs and realize that I've only talked about Helen Frankenthaler and nothing about what I was originally planning on writing. Frankenthaler is that enthralling. It's been a tough day, I'll leave that soap opera for another time. I will say that instead of reading all of the bios on Frankenthaler, take a few minutes and view this very well put together video that was made in honor of her 80th birthday. I had no idea before seeing this that she was such a hottie. There is no wonder that she and the critic Clement Greenberg were lovers for six years and that Robert Motherwell later married her. If I I had been a man in the 1950's, I would have wanted to have dated her, married her, been the father of her children. Most of all I would have wanted to have worked near her as did artists like Kenneth Noland and Morris Louis. Here is to Helen Frankenthaler as we approach her 81st birthday, not one I'll forget since she and I share birthdays.

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