Tag Archives: Abstract Expressionism

Art historian Katy Siegel quotes Frankenthaler in 1964 in response to a question from Henry Geldzahler, then the curator of American Art at the Metropolitan Museum, “How do you feel about being a woman painter?” Frankenthaler replied, Obviously, first I am involved in painting not the who and the how… Looking at my paintings as if they were painted by a woman is superficial, a side issue… The making of serious painting is difficult and complicated for all serious painters. One must be oneself, whatever.”

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Helen Frankenthaler, Robinson’s Wrap, 1974

 

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Joan Mitchell, Helen Frankenthaler, and Grace Hartigan at the opening of Frankenthaler’s solo exhibition at the Tibor de Nagy Gallery, New York, February 12, 1957. Courtesy Gagosian Gallery and Burt Glinn/Magnum Photos

 

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Helen Frankenthaler in her 10th Street Studio, New York, circa 1951-52. Photo credit: Cora Kelley Ward. Courtesy Helen Frankenthaler Foundation Archives, New York

Helen Frankenthaler, a painter who is having a seriously revitalized pop culture moment, was among those who also resisted this label.

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In a dynamic and excellently illustrated new book with essays about her ongoing influence, “The heroine Paint” After Frankenthaler” published by Gagosian Gallery, the art historian Katy Siegel quotes Frankenthaler in 1964 in response to a question from Henry Geldzahler, then the curator of American Art at the Metropolitan Museum,

“How do you feel about being a woman painter?”

Frankenthaler replied,

Obviously, first I am involved in painting not the who and the how… Looking at my paintings as if they were painted by a woman is superficial, a side issue… The making of serious painting is difficult and complicated for all serious painters. One must be oneself, whatever.

(“The heroine Paint” After Frankenthaler edited by Katy Siegel. Cover artwork © 2015 Helen Frankenthaler Foundation, Inc. / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Courtesy Gagosian Gallery. Photography by Rob McKeever.)

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HELEN FRANKENTHALER, interview, Portland State University, May 1972, 25 min.

 

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In May 1972, Abstract Expressionist artist Helen Frankenthaler came to Portland as part of a “Visiting Artist Program” organized by the Art Department of Portland State University. The program brought the artist and nine of her paintings with the support of the Oregon Arts Commission, the Portland Art Museum, and the Academically Controlled Auxiliary Activities Committee at PSU. At Portland Art Museum, the artist gave a slide show and preview of the selected work, which was installed in the sculpture garden of PAM. The following day, Frankenthaler participated in an informal Q & A session in PSU’s Lincoln Hall Auditorium with area art students and members of the public. The Q & A at the university was recorded by Ed Du Vivier and Mel Katz, with support from PSU’s Television Services and with the assistance of Tom Taylor and the Center for Moving Image, with the idea that the recording, with funding and support from the Oregon Arts Commission, would later be made available to other schools, museums, and libraries. In this restored version of the film, Frankenthaler discusses her work, her youthful influences, her association with the New York School of painting, and whether advanced formal training aids or hinders the artistic process.

Continue reading HELEN FRANKENTHALER, interview, Portland State University, May 1972, 25 min.

THE PAINTING TECHNIQUES OF AD REINHARDT: Abstract Painting, AB EX NY via MOMA, 5 min.

Another chapter of the great AB EX NY series of short videos discussing the painting techniques of key NY Abstract Expressionist artists.  Produced for the MoMA exhibition: Abstract Expressionist New York, October 3, 2010–April 11, 2011

Filmed by Plowshares Media
Images courtesy of the Estate of Ad Reinhardt/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York; and The Museum of Modern Art, New York
Photos by John Loengard/Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images
Music by Chris Parrello
Chris Parrello, Ian Young, Kevin Thomas, Ziv Ravitz

AB EX NY, The Painting Techniques of Barnett Newman: Vir Heroics Sublimis, via MoMA, 4 min.

Another short piece from the MoMA AB EX NY series, discussing Barnett Newman’s techniques in creating his Zip Paintings.

The Painting Techniques of Barnett Newman: Vir Heroicus Sublimis

Abstract Expressionist New York
The Museum of Modern Art, October 3, 2010–April 11, 2011
MoMA.org/abexny

Filmed by Plowshares Media
Images courtesy of Barnett Newman Foundation/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York; and The Museum of Modern Art, New York
Music by Chris Parrello
Chris Parrello, Ian Young, Kevin Thomas, Ziv Ravitz

© 2010 The Museum of Modern Art

THE REALITY OF KAREL APPEL, 1962, 15 minutes

“As an artist you have to fight and survive the wilderness to keep your creative freedom. Creativity is very fragile. It’s like a leaf in the fall; it hangs and when it drops you don’t know where it’s drifting.” –Karel Appel

Karel Appel, (Christiaan Karel Appel April 1921 – 3 May 2006) was a Dutch painter, sculptor, and poet. He started painting at the age of fourteen and studied at the Rijksakademie in Amsterdam in the 1940s. He was one of the founders of the avant-garde movement Cobra in 1948.
Continue reading THE REALITY OF KAREL APPEL, 1962, 15 minutes