Sadly, Helen has left us

Another Thousand Words

Helen Frankenthaler, US abstract expressionist, dies

US abstract expressionist painter Helen Frankenthaler has died aged 83 after a long illness, her nephew has said.

Clifford Ross told the Associated Press that his aunt passed away on Tuesday at her home in Darien, in the US state of Connecticut.

She burst on to the art scene in 1952 with Mountains and Sea, a large-scale canvas.

The postwar colourist, whose career spanned six decades, was awarded the National Medal of Arts in 2002.

Born in 1928 to a wealthy Manhattan family, her father was a New York State Supreme Court judge and her mother a German immigrant.


Frankenthaler was a leading light of the “soak-stain” technique that involves applying thinned oil paint to unprimed canvas, creating a watercolour effect.

Her style is credited with having helped American art make the transition from Abstract Expressionism to Color Field painting.

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