ArtBeat: A Double Shot of Frankenthaler @ The Clark [Get Visual]

Madame Butterfly 2000 - woodcut on three sheets of handmade paper
Madame Butterfly 2000 – woodcut on three sheets of handmade paper

Review by David Brickman

Labor Day doesn’t have to mean the end of summer, especially when two summer blockbuster-worthy exhibitions of work by the great Helen Frankenthaler are still on view for several weeks to come at the Clark Art Institute in Williamstown. Not ashamed to say, I am a big fan of Frankenthaler, so I went to these exhibitions with high expectations – and I was quite simply blown away.

As in Nature: Helen Frankenthaler Paintings, which features 12 major works on canvas, is on view through Monday, October 9 in the Lunder Center at Stone Hill, a transcendentally airy space that brings the woodsy surroundings into the galleries, making it the ideal setting for this selection. No Rules: Helen Frankenthaler Woodcuts, on view through Sunday, September 24, fills the Eugene V. Thaw Gallery for Works on Paper with 17 virtuosic prints, spanning the artist’s several decades of experimentation with the woodcut medium.

Both exhibitions take their titles from Frankenthaler quotes, and both quotes serve well to introduce the viewer to the essence of her thought processes in relation to making abstract art. The paintings can be understood as landscapes – or inspired by landscapes – but to me, that’s not important, except where that concept serves to help a viewer uncomfortable with the abstract to open up to it.

Click to read the rest at Get Visual.

Comments are closed.