Helen Frankenthaler, a second-generation Abstract Expressionist who led a movement later known as Color Field painting, died at 83 on Tuesday at her home in Darien, Conn.
Building upon Jackson Pollock’s technique of dripping paint onto canvases placed on the floor, Frankenthaler gained recognition early in her career for her unique process of pouring turpentine-thinned acrylics directly onto raw canvas, creating a staining effect that greatly influenced artists like Morris Louis and Kenneth Nolan in the Washington Color School of the late 1950s.
Early works such as her acclaimed Mountains and Sea from 1952 are noted by critics for their break from Abstract Expressionism’s active, painterly gestures towards a more personal exploration of color and form.
“Helen was truly a spectacular lady with great style and a fierce intelligence,” recalled MFAH modern art curator Alison de Lima Greene. “I really admired her.”
The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston maintained a relationship with Frankenthaler since the early 1970s,