American, 20th century, female.
Born 12 December 1928, in New York. Died 27 December 2011, Darien, Connecticut.
Action Painting, Colour Field Painting, Post-painterly Abstraction.
Second School of New York.
Helen Frankenthaler was a pupil of Rufino Tamayo at the Dalton School, New York, and of Paul Feeley at Bennington College. In 1949, she attended Meyer Shapiro's courses at Columbia University and, in 1950, Hans Hofmann's summer school in Provincetown. In 1958, she married Robert Motherwell.
While with Tamayo, Frankenthaler learned how to control spontaneity by technique and developed a taste for colour. However, her real training began with Paul Feeley, who helped her to understand Cubism, while with Hofmann she was encouraged to eliminate the subject. She also responded to the influences of Wassily Kandinsky, Jackson Pollock and Arshile Gorky - particularly the latter's expressionist Mountains and Sea of 1952-1953 - though it was Pollock's work that proved the most decisive influence. A meeting with him at his Long Island studio in ...