Helen Frankenthaler, American, 1928 - 2011



Acrylic on canvas

Canvas: 56 3/4 × 81 3/4 in. (144.1 × 207.6 cm)

Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth: Purchased through the Evelyn A. and William B. Jaffe 2015 Fund



Place Made: United States, North America


20th century

Object Name


Research Area


Not on view


You have to know how to use the accident, how to recognize it, how to control it, and ways to eliminate it so that the whole surface looks felt and born all at once. --Helen Frankenthaler

Helen Frankenthaler’s pioneering technique of pouring paint directly onto an unprimed canvas made the paint and canvas inseparable—not a painting on canvas, but a new object entirely. She was interested in downplaying her level of control (her ego) and allowing the paint’s viscosity to participate in the final image. To this end, she literally removed her touch by avoiding brushes altogether.

From the 2023 exhibition The Painter's Hand: U.S. Abstraction since 1950, curated by John Stomberg, Virginia Rice Kelsey 1961s Director

Exhibition History

The Painter's Hand: U.S. Abstraction since 1950, William B. Jaffe and Evelyn A. Jaffe-Hall Galleries, Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, June 3-December 9, 2023.


Gagosian Gallery; sold to present collection, 2022.

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