Helen Frankenthaler Foundation

News - Foundation


Painting Printing Frankenthaler: The Process of Abstraction, Lecture by Carol Armstrong

Princeton University Art Museum, Princeton, NJ

June 29, 2019 at 5:00 PM

In conjunction with the exhibition Helen Frankenthaler Prints: Seven Types of Ambiguity, Carol Armstrong, professor of the history of art at Yale University, explores the artist’s accomplishments in prints with a lecture titled "Painting Printing Frankenthaler: The Process of Abstraction." 


Image: Weeping Crabapple, 2009

Thirty-one color woodcut from 18 woodblocks

25 1/4 x 37 1/4 inches (64.13 x 94.61 cm)

© 2019 Helen Frankenthaler Foundation, Inc. / Artists Rights Society (ARS)


Helen Frankenthaler. Sea Change: A Decade of Paintings, 1974-1983

Gagosian Rome

May 14, 2019

Gagosian senior curator John Elderfield and director Jason Ysenburg will lead a tour of the exhibition Helen Frankenthaler: Sea Change: A Decade of Paintings, 1974–1983 at Gagosian, Rome.


Elderfield and Ysenburg will explore the important period in Frankenthaler’s work that began in the summer of 1974, which was sparked by the changing appearance of the wide vistas and moving tides of the Long Island Sound. The show coincides with an exhibition of her work at the Museo di Palazzo Grimani in Venice on the occasion of the 58th Venice Biennale.


Artwork © 2019 Helen Frankenthaler Foundation, Inc./Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York


Helen Frankenthaler and David Smith: An Enduring Friendship

Helen Frankenthaler Foundation

April 3, 2019

Douglas Dreishpoon, Director of the Helen Frankenthaler Catalogue Raisonné and Michael Brenson, author of the forthcoming David Smith biography, discussed Frankenthaler and Smith’s special fifteen-year friendship, from 1950 to 1965.




Image: Helen Frankenthaler with David Smith at Frankenthaler’s West End Avenue apartment, 1956, in front of Mountains and Sea, 1952, oil and charcoal on unsized, unprimed canvas, 86 3⁄8 × 117 1⁄4 in. © 2019 Helen Frankenthaler Foundation, Inc. / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo © Burt Glinn / Magnum Photos


Helen Frankenthaler In Her Time And Now, lecture by Elizabeth Smith

The Kreeger Museum, Washington, D.C.

February 6, 2019

The program will consider the work of Frankenthaler as a second-generation Abstract Expressionist and her pioneering role in the development of the Color Field school, with a special focus on the painting Hurricane Flag as a key example of Frankenthaler’s work of the late 1960s and in context of the artist’s six-decade career.


Image: Helen Frankenthaler, Hurricane Flag, 1969, acrylic on canvas, 119 x 105 1/2 inches. Collection The Kreeger Museum. Gift of the Trustees of the Corcoran Gallery of Art. © 2019 Helen Frankenthaler Foundation, Inc. / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.


Two Major University-Level Education Initiatives.

Arts Funding and Gifts Expand Reach to Students of Art and Art History

November 30, 2018

The Helen Frankenthaler Foundation is delighted to announce two new major gift/grant initiatives--one establishing Frankenthaler Scholarships in painting and art history, the other a Frankenthaler Prints Initiative for university-affiliated museums.


For more information, please click on the link for the full press release.


Image: Helen Frankenthaler, Untitled, 1967, screenprint, 25 3/4 x 17 7/8 inches (65.4 x 45.4 cm). © 2019 Helen Frankenthaler Foundation, Inc. / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / Chiron Press, New York. Photograph by Steven Sloman, courtesy of Helen Frankenthaler Foundation



Ninth Street Women: Mary Gabriel in conversation with Deborah Solomon

Whitney Museum of American Art

October 3, 2018

Acclaimed author Mary Gabriel speaks about her new book, Ninth Street Women: Lee Krasner, Elaine de Kooning, Grace Hartigan, Joan Mitchell, and Helen Frankenthaler: Five Painters and the Movement That Changed Modern Art (Little, Brown), with Deborah Solomon, art critic and biographer.


The discussion will be followed by a book signing.


This program is organized in collaboration with the Helen Frankenthaler Foundation and the Joan Mitchell Foundation.


Youtube Broadcast


Abstract Expressionists in Provincetown

Provincetown Art Association and Museum, MA

September 8, 2018, 11am

A panel discussion with Sanford Hirsch, Executive Director, Adolph and Esther Gottlieb Foundation; Katy Rogers, Programs Director, Dedalus Foundation; Daniel Belasco, Executive Director, Al Held Foundation; and Karen Wilkin, author, curator, and critic. Moderated by Douglas Dreishpoon, Director, Helen Frankenthaler Catalogue Raisonné.


Image: Helen Frankenthaler, Beach, 1950, oil, sand, plaster of Paris and coffee grounds on sized, primed canvas 34 1/4 × 32 inches (86.9 × 81.3 cm). © 2019 Helen Frankenthaler Foundation, Inc./Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.


Helen and High Water, lecture by John Elderfield

Provincetown Art Association and Museum, MA

July 7, 2018, 3pm

The first in a series of public programs presented in conjunction with the exhibition Abstract Climates: Helen Frankenthaler in Provincetown, is a lecture titled Helen and High Water, by John Elderfield, Chief Curator Emeritus of Painting and Sculpture, The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Distinguished Curator and Lecturer at the Princeton University Art Museum; and Consultant for Special Exhibitions at Gagosian Gallery.


Panel Discussion: Helen Frankenthaler

The Art Institute of Chicago, IL

April 20, 2018

Helen Frankenthaler's dedication to printmaking was the focus of a conversation between Douglas Dreishpoon, Director of Helen Frankenthaler Catalogue Raisonné, Mark Pascale, Janet and Craig Duchossois Curator of Prints and Drawings at the The Art Institute of Chicago, and Ruth E. Fine, who, as the Curator of Modern Prints and Drawings at the National Gallery of Art, organized a retrospective of Frankenthaler’s prints in 1993-94.


Click here to listen to the audio recording, courtesy of The Art Institute of Chicago.


Helen Frankenthaler: Saluting France

Albertine Books, The Cultural Services of the French Embassy, NY

November 28, 2017

Join us for a discussion about Helen Frankenthaler’s work and its connection to French art and culture. Participants will include John Elderfield, Chief-Curator Emeritus of Painting and Sculpture at The Museum of Modern Art; Distinguished Curator and Lecturer at the Princeton University Art Museum; and Consultant for Special Projects at Gagosian Gallery; Douglas Dreishpoon, Director of the Helen Frankenthaler Catalogue Raisonné and Chief Curator Emeritus at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery; Joachim Pissarro, Bershad Professor of Art History at Hunter College of the City University of New York and Director of the Hunter College Galleries; and artist Pat Steir.


Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture Receives $250,000 Gift From Helen Frankenthaler Foundation for New Named Studio

October 6, 2017

Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture, one of the nation’s leading residencies for emerging visual artists, announced today that it has received a $250,000 gift from the Helen Frankenthaler Foundation. The funds will provide for a new studio building to be constructed on its rural campus in central Maine.


Image: Helen Frankenthaler at Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture, June 1986. Photo by Barbara N. Lapcek


No Rules: Helen Frankenthaler Woodcuts

The Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, MA

July 1 - September 24, 2017

Throughout her career, Frankenthaler worked with a variety of print publishers to push the medium in new directions. No Rules features work executed over four decades and examines her inventive and groundbreaking approach to the woodcut.


Image: Helen Frankenthaler, Freefall, 1993, Hand-dyed paper in 15 colors and 12 color woodcut from 1 plate of 21 woodblocks, 78 1/2 x 60 1/2 inches (199.4 x 153.7 cm). © 2019 Helen Frankenthaler Foundation, Inc./Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.


As In Nature Helen Frankenthaler Paintings

The Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, MA

July 1 - October 9, 2017

This exhibition comprises a selection of large paintings by Helen Frankenthaler, focusing on nature as a longstanding inspiration and including the full range of styles and techniques that she explored over five decades of work.


Image: Helen Frankenthaler, Milkwood Arcade, 1963, Acrylic on canvas, 86 1/2 x 80 3/4 inches (219 x 203 cm). © 2019 Helen Frankenthaler Foundation, Inc./Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.


Helen Frankenthaler: After Abstract Expressionism, 1959– 1962

Gagosian Gallery, Paris

June 9 - September 16, 2017

The first major exhibition of Helen Frankenthaler's work in Paris in more than fifty years includes fourteen paintings and two works on paper, several of which have not been exhibited since the early 1960s.


Image: Helen Frankenthaler, The Red Sea, 1959. Oil and charcoal on sized, primed canvas with painted wood frame, 69 5/8 × 68 1/2 inches


Douglas Dreishpoon Appointed Director of Helen Frankenthaler Catalogue Raisonné

January 31, 2017

An art historian, curator, author, and educator, Mr. Dreishpoon will oversee the development and production of the catalogue raisonné of Helen Frankenthaler’s paintings, works on paper, and mediums other than prints, which the Foundation intends to publish in both print and digital editions. He will additionally serve as Editor of the publication.



American Academy in Rome announced major grant from Helen Frankenthaler Foundation to support its 2016-2017 Conversations / Conversazioni series.

September 9, 2016

The Foundation will serve as Season Sponsor of the ongoing program series, which highlights the current work of AAR Fellows and Residents in the arts and humanities, in the form of lectures, presentations, and performances.


Helen Frankenthaler Foundation makes major grant to Yaddo, one of nation's oldest artist communities.

December 3, 2015

The grant will underwrite the cost of a visual arts studio—one of five new live-work studios at Yaddo—which will be named in Frankenthaler's honor.


Helen Frankenthaler: A Symposium

Institute of Fine Arts, New York University

October 23, 2015

The Institute of Fine Arts, NYU held a symposium exploring new perspectives on the work of artist Helen Frankenthaler. Co-organized by Robert Slifkin, Associate Professor of Fine Arts, IFA, and Pepe Karmel, Associate Professor of Art History, NYU, in partnership with the Helen Frankenthaler Foundation, the program featured presentations by five leading scholars of postwar modern art.


VIDEO (Produced by the IFA/NYU)


The Vienna State Opera opened the 2015-2016 season with its annual Safety Curtain exhibition project: Artist Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster Pays Homage to Helen Frankenthaler.

September 30, 2015

The project is titled Helen & Gordon (2015), based on the well-known photograph taken of Frankenthaler by Life magazine photographer Gordon Parks in 1957.


Image: Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster, Helen & Gordon, 2015. Photo by Andreas Scheiblecker, courtesy of museum in progress (www.mip.at).


Helen Frankenthaler Foundation Executive Director Elizabeth Smith participated in a panel discussion on artist-endowed foundations at The Sterling & Francine Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, MA

July 25, 2015

The Clark Art Institute and the Aspen Institute presented a panel discussion exploring the emerging role of artist-endowed foundations as a force in cultural philanthropy and in the stewardship of America’s artistic heritage. The panel discussion highlighted pioneering research by the Aspen Institute, published as National Study of Artist-Endowed Foundations, documenting the rise in private foundations created in the United States by visual artists. 


Gagosian Gallery publishes "The heroine Paint": After Frankenthaler, a collection of essays exploring Frankenthaler's impact on contemporary art, edited by Katy Siegel

June 2015

Visual Chronology by Liz Hirsch; Texts by Daniel Belasco, Carroll Dunham, John Elderfield, Barbara Guest, Harmony Hammond, Liz Hirsch, Suzanne Hudson, Carrie Moyer, Laura Owens, Lane Relyea, Dwight Ripley, Sterling Ruby, Katy Siegel, Amy Sillman, Howard Singerman, Tracy K. Smith, and Mary Weatherford


Pretty Raw: After and Around Helen Frankenthaler

The Rose Art Museum, Brandeis University, Waltham, MA

February 11 - June 7, 2015

The Rose Art Museum at Brandeis University presented Pretty Raw: After and Around Helen Frankenthaler, a groundbreaking exhibition that reconsidered the history of modern art and its renewed meaning for contemporary artists. Curated by Katy Siegel, Pretty Raw took the work of the artist Helen Frankenthaler (1928-2011) as the point of departure for an alternative version of modernist art over the past 50 years, a story usually written as a series of male masters.