Helen Frankenthaler, Eden, 1956, oil on unsized, unprimed canvas, 103 x 117 inches (261.6 x 297.2cm), Collection Helen Frankenthaler Foundation, New York © 2019 Helen Frankenthaler Foundation, Inc. / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New YorkPhoto by Rob McKeever courtesy Gagosian
Join Alexander Nemerov, chair of the Art and Art History Department and author of the newly released Fierce Poise: Helen Frankenthaler and 1950s New York (Penguin), for a discussion of Frankenthaler’s 1956 painting “Eden.”
Alexander Nemerov’s father taught Frankenthaler at Bennington College in the late 1940s. The biography covers the first decade of the artist’s career, in the 1950s, when she was building a formidable New York reputation as an independent artist making vivid and deeply personal abstract works.
From the recent article by Philip Kennicott in the Washington Post, “For a long time, art critics and historians have worked to recover the darker truths obfuscated by the glamour and mystique of America at the mid-century, including the world in which Frankenthaler built her career. Next up is redeeming the lightness from that darkness, without indulging the old myths or perpetuating the old inequities. Nemerov believes that is possible. He has written a book that shows us how it can be done.”
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