slide school | helen frankenthaler

slide school is a bi-weekly education session (with myself ;) in which i attempt to remember bits and pieces i learned about specific artworks in my university art history classes. i get to peek at my notes, but not online. for more details about slide school - visit this post.

i just love this picture of helen - it kind of makes me have a girl crush/want to be IN that space!

*if you are doing some sort of school project and ended up here, please note i cannot guarantee that any of this information below is even remotely accurate!

title | no flippin clue.
artist | i'll be honest - i remembered her but not her full name (i knew she had a crazy long last name) so i googled "helen flood paintings" to find an image it worked!
date | 1950?
medium | i'm always a little befuddled by what gestural artists use as a medium - i'm going to guess watered down acrylics?
art historical period | abstract expressionism?
three facts | i'll be honest and i say that i don't remember too much. specifically what i remember about her was that it was rare for a woman to be doing that type of painting within that period. almost all of her peers (including jackson pollock, also a gestural painter) were male. she poured a lot of her paintings - a technique which involves a lot of space and the use of the whole body. i guess that's why i think of her work as "floods." i'm going to include a quote now from an article i let myself read after i filled out this quiz! i love the way she puts this:

"for my own work, when a picture looks labored and overworked, and you can read in it—'well, she did this and then she did that, and then she did that'—there is something in it that has not got to do with beautiful art to me ... though i think very often it takes ten of those over-labored efforts to produce one ... [that] looks as if it were born in a minute." (from frankenthaler by barbara rose, p. 85)

title | "causeway"
artist | helen frankenthaler
date | i can't find the exact date but it says she was active from the early 1950's onward.*
medium | wiki says: 'her work has the effect of watercolours, though she painted in oils.'
art historical period | correct!

*the lovely esther from paragraph cove has updated me on this piece. it's anaquatint print from an edition of 100. printed in 2001.


  1. oo i want to be in that space too, looks utterly awesome.

    i see you've changed your blog design once more and i LOVE it! i absolutely love your style ♡


  2. Beautiful work!

    That piece is a aquatint print from an edition of 100. Printed in 2001. http://www.wulongtea-info.com/tempsite/paintings-detail.asp?thisImg=344

  3. I was just admiring a Helen Frankenthaler at the Portland Art Museum, I've always liked her work. When you see it close up, you can see the paint permeating the canvas, very intense colour. She does have that retro cool look going on in your photo though, love that.

  4. Anonymous21.4.12

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  5. Anonymous21.4.12

    that first picture is lovely. hopefully i can learn a thing or two about art from you

  6. I remember studying her work in my own Art History classes and alongside her male contemporaries ( like Pollock ), I recall being drawn to the softness and fluidity in her work. Yet she held her own with the big boys at a time when, as you stated, there weren't many female artists doing what she was. Have always had a soft spot for her!


thanks for your comment, i love hearing your thoughts!