NEW YORK – Craig F. Starr Gallery is pleased to announce the opening of Helen Frankenthaler East and Beyond: Woodcuts 1973-77, which runs from January 11 to February 9.
Helen Frankenthaler, aside from being one of the most important American painters of the 20th century, produced an extraordinary set of woodcuts in the 1970’s that approached woodcut, the oldest form of printmaking, in new and innovative ways, and in the process sparked a revival in woodblock printing amongst her contemporaries.
These works are characterized by a warm, organic quality, imbued with rich colors. Of particular note are the various handmade Nepalese and Japanese papers, whose texture and sheen compliment the printed images. Frankenthaler’s earliest woodcuts, East and Beyond and Vineyard Storm are graphic in nature, exploiting the woodcut process by emphasizing the wood’s grain and crisp, vividly colorful shapes. Essence Mulberry and Essence Mulberry State I are more complex compositions featuring rich burgundy hues inspired by mulberry juice with layers of translucent inks that create extraordinary depth and richness. Many of the works carry a taste of the East, from compositions hinting at Japanese landscapes or hanging scrolls to calligraphic lines overlaid on their surface.
This exhibition also features rarely exhibited proofs from the artist’s personal collection, which document Frankenthaler’s boldly creative and meticulous artistic process.