Helen Frankenthaler employed athletic gestures to create completely non-representational abstract works. The artist's style was particularly suited to the lithographic stone and other printmaking processes. Frankenthaler's internationally renowned body of work evolved abstract art toward the anti-illusionistic flatness prominent in the mid-20th century.


Helen Frankenthaler (1928-2011) studied with Rufino Tamayo at the Dalton School, graduating in 1945. The artist graduated from Bennington College in 1949 and subsequently moved to New York City to study at Columbia University.

Frankenthaler had her first one-person exhibit at Tibor de Nagy Gallery in 1951. In 1953, the artist painted Mountains and Sea, her first abstract stain painting. Success for her fresh approach included her first prize at the biennial exhibition of the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris in France (1959), and traveling retrospectives organized by the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City (1969) and the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, DC (1975).

At the suggestion of Larry Rivers, Frankenthaler was invited to work at ULAE in 1960 and the lithography stone quickly became the perfect vehicle for the artist's athletic brand of gestural abstraction. For the next fifteen years, Frankenthaler continued her fruitful collaboration at ULAE, adding intaglio (1968) and woodcut (1973) to her repertoire.