At the Gagosian, the Landscapes of Helen Frankenthaler

At the Gagosian, the Landscapes of Helen Frankenthaler
#Exhibitions

“I had the landscape in my arms when I painted it. I had the landscape in my mind and in my shoulders and in my wrist.” And such landscapes she painted, between 1952 and 1976, Helen Frankenthaler, the painter from the United States who launched a new generation of painters with her so-called “Color Field” approach of painting. Fourteen paintings from the collection of the Frankenthaler Foundation, many of which have never been displayed before in public, grace the spaces of the Gagosian. With their extraordinary variety of lines and colours, her paintings bounded invented panoramas uniting palms with mountain peaks, but also there were paintings the artist created while on honeymoon with Robert Motherwell in the South-West of France. In three works from 1963, there is an important change in the approach of the painter whose style was initially marked by ample sections of a single colour. Juxtaposed areas of luxurious colour substitute the lines of prior works, their irregular borders evoking the confines of natural forms. The titles of the works - Narcissus, Yolk, Sea Goddess - with their sometimes watery forms, invite interpretation in the same manner that Leonardo suggested to painters that they find images of the natural world in stains on the wall. While in the monumental Capo Orange, Frankenthaler suggests a topographical map, the pair of canvases Orange Hem and Red Travels evoke the details of a landscape seen from above, perhaps the movement of water around an obstacle.
Samantha De Martin - © 2021 ARTE.it for Bulgari Hotel London