Monday, June 13

Helen again


Images above {here via here}
Here's to people that take the time and effort to scan!

Following on from yesterday, here is Helen Frankenthaler's 
and husband, Robert Motherwell's apartment photographed for the 1967 issue of Art in America. 
Motherwell was also a painter, an American abstract expressionist. 
There's not a lot to say except for wow. And then to sigh
It's really worth taking a moment to read the original text below
The contents of the rooms are incredible.

(Above) Living room in Mr. and Mrs. Robert Motherwell's brownstone, with Mrs. Motherwell (painter Helen Frankenthaler) seated at far end of room. A Mark Rothko oil hangs over the fireplace. The objects on the mantel include an Archaic Greek head (center), a painted wood Egyptian standing woman, about 1350 B.C., and a Thai bronze walking Buddha. On the white-topped table is a small David Smith bronze, 1961-62. The large blue and white painting is Hlen Frankenthaler's Blue Tide, 1964. On the lamp stand next to the sofa is Jacques Lipchitz' bronze study for Ploumanach. Above the sofa are two paintings by Motherwell: America Cup, 1964, and Figure 4 with a Blue Stripe, 1966. Among the objects on the coffee table are bronzes by Rodin (left) and Matisse (right). The painting on the right wall is Motherwell's The Homely Protestant, 1948.
 (Top): A corner at the Motherwell's. The painting in center is Helen Frankenthaler's Small's Paradise, 1964; below it, on table, is a South Indian stone female figure, Pala period. At left is Barbara Cohen's Yellow Rest, 1966; directly above the Cohen is Kenneth Noland's Seed, 1962, topped by a Hans Hofmann from the fifties. Flanking the Hofmann is an African Baga wooden mask. A wooden Polynesian paddle rests on the floor.
Photos by William Grigsby.

Another Frankenthaler painting in situ via here

Helen again via here

Frankenthaler's Small Paradise 1964, as seen in top image via here 

I posted a little Frankenthaler back here as well as in a homage to our pool here. I've always loved her fields of colour on such a grand scale! Even when it's not her work I love her work as I'm sure Frankenthaler has inspired Hadley Halliday (and many other artists too!). She is impressive. Not only are her paintings majestic and beautiful, but she also broke free of so many constraints for that time: she lays her unprimed (gasp) canvas on the floor so the paint soaks in like giant stains; she uses acrylics like one would use water colours, and she paints with house brushes, mops and buckets! As she herself says: 

There are no rules. This is how art is born, how breakthroughs happen. Go against the rules or ignore the rules. This is what invention is about.




6 comments:

Squeezed Daily said...

Ha, yes she's very interesting indeed (I should read all posts first before I comment)
My kind of painting, watered down acrylics and household brushes.
Sarah

Emma at The Marion House Book said...

Yes! Love this kind of story. I;m so fascinated by what people have in their homes especially when the "stuff" is so fabulous.
Do you know the artist Joan Mitchell? I didn't until a few weeks ago. She is a contemporary of Frankenthaler. One of the only other woman considered part of the Abstract Expressionists. Anyways, interesting woman and beautiful art. (I like it more than Frankenthaler - if I has to choose!)

sarah said...

Hi Sarah,

Apparently she developed a secret recipe of house paint, enamel, turpentine and oil in 1952. This is how she gets the transparent staining effect you can see in some of her other paintings. Google her Hanging Garden to see this effect. It's so beautiful. x

sarah said...

Hi Emma,

No I didn't know Joan but just had a quick look. I like. It's splattered in a very painterley way. It's much more dynamic than Frankenthaler. It has more movement! Thanks for sharing!

April said...

Thanks for introducing me to Helen - I hadn't heard of her before your posts. I'm a sucker for huge canvases (if only they could fit in my little 1950's bungalow!) but the spirit of her work could translate anywhere. Very soft but devil-may-care at the same time. Love it.

sarah said...

I know - I love their grand scale too. What I would give for one. If I won lotto April, the first thing I would do would be to buy a Frankenthaler!