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  • Arts & Culture
  • Issue 37

Helen Frankenthaler

Helen Frankenthaler changed the course of American abstractionism with her free-flowing color fields and built “a bridge between Pollock and what was possible,” as one visitor to her studio gushed afterward. But while her canvases sang with color, daring and invention, she lived her own life strictly within the lines. Words by Tim Hornyak.

There’s an early photograph by Life magazine’s Gordon Parks of artist Helen Frankenthaler in a corner of her studio, with the walls and floor covered in her outsized canvases, large washes of blues, grays, pinks and browns. Dressed in a blouse and skirt, legs tucked under her, Frankenthaler has a faraway, dreamy expression and almost looks like a mermaid in an undersea fantasy. It’s an image that symbolizes the intense, immersive quality of Frankenthaler’s paintings, drawing the viewer into an


This story is from Kinfolk Issue Thirty-Seven

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