Helen Frankenthaler (1928–2011) is most known for her bold, colorful abstract paintings. Raised in New York City, she was a trailblazer in Abstract Expressionism, an art movement initiated in the late 1940s that emphasized spontaneous, expressive, large-scale painting. Armed with commercial paints and housepainters’ brushes, Frankenthaler and her contemporaries rebelled against restrictive political and artistic norms by using techniques considered revolutionary for the time.
Frankenthaler was one of the few women artists within the male-dominated art scene and became especially renowned for her drive for experimentation throughout the six decades of her career. In the 1960s, she began to pursue printmaking, a medium that similarly allowed for great experimentation and one in which she would work for the next fifty years. Each print in this exhibition was made at a different studio and with a distinct technique, chronicling Frankenthaler’s varied methods and the numerous printmakers with whom she collaborated.
Helen Frankenthaler: Un Poco Más (A Little More) champions the significance of printmaking within Frankenthaler’s artistic practice. It explores the cooperative, exploratory process through which the artist worked and highlights the six proofs (test prints) and final edition print of Un Poco Más (1987), completed during a period of time the artist spent in Barcelona, Spain. Un Poco Más, as both work and exhibition, invites viewers to imagine the lively and dynamic conversations between Frankenthaler and the printmakers with whom she partnered as they shared techniques and encouraged themselves to give “a little more” to reach their artistic visions.
These are the first works by Frankenthaler to enter the Nasher Museum’s collection and were a recent gift from the artist’s foundation.
This exhibition is co-organized by four undergraduate students in the Curatorial Practicum: Exhibition Development and Design course in the Museum Theory & Practice Concentration, taught by Ellen C. Raimond, Assistant Curator of Academic Initiatives at the Nasher Museum. The student co-curators are Claire Hutchinson ’22, Alana Hyman ’22, Tristan Kelleher ’22, and Andrew Witte ’22.
Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website
Image credit: Helen Frankenthaler, Weeping Crabapple, 2009. Woodcut on paper, artist’s proof 2/12, 25 1/2 × 37 3/8 inches (64.77 × 94.93 cm). Collection of the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University. Gift of the Helen Frankenthaler Foundation, 2019.27.18. © Helen Frankenthaler Foundation, Inc.