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Helen Frankenthaler
American, 1928 - 2011

Seer, 1980
American Painting
Acrylic on canvas
93 1/2 in. x 85 1/8 in. (237.49 cm x 216.22 cm), overall

Gift of the Women's Council on the occasion of the Council's 40th anniversary,  81.13

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About the Object

Helen Frankenthaler, who died on December 27, 2011, was a major American painter.  Over the course of her long career, she experimented with new techniques that included pouring oil paint thinned with turpentine directly on large pieces of unprimed canvas, which permitted the paint to saturate the cloth and create loose and fluid fields of color.  The emphasis on color of the second generation of abstract artists resulted in the term "Color Field Painters" to describe the work of Frankenthaler, Morris Louis, Kenneth Noland, and others.  Her spontaneous style and meditative aesthetic were perhaps the result of the philosophy that she expressed in a 2003 New York Times interview:  “There are no rules. Let the picture lead you where it must go.”  In addition to "Seer", MAG also owns four prints created by Frankenthaler.


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