Abstract Expressionism exhibition - was born on this day in 1928. A brilliant colourist, she worked in various styles over six decades, never ceasing to experiment and never losing sight of the essential aim - beauty.
How old-fashioned, how alien to the modern art world, that word now sounds. Indeed, in her own time, Frankenthaler's work was written off by some as being 'merely beautiful'. Merely? Merely?! What else is art for if not to be beautiful?
Helen Frankenthaler summed up her own thoughts on painting thus:
'A really good picture looks as if it's happened at once. It's an immediate image. For my own work, when a picture looks laboured and overworked, and you can read in it—well, she did this and then she did that, and then she did that—there is something in it that has not got to do with beautiful art to me. And I usually throw these out, though I think very often it takes ten of those over-laboured efforts to produce one really beautiful wrist motion that is synchronised with your head and heart, and you have it, and therefore it looks as if it were born in a minute.'
One really beautiful wrist motion synchronised with head and heart - is there a better description of the act of painting when it's going really, really well, when it's on the road to beauty?