Helen Frankenthaler (American, 1928 – 2011)
Blue Fall, 1966
Acrylic on canvas
89 ⅛ x 68 ¼ in (226.4 x 173.4 cm)
Milwaukee Art Museum
© 2016 Helen Frankenthaler Foundation, Inc./ARSNY


A veil of dense blue paint cascades down the canvas in Blue Fall.  Flanked by white and tan verticals, the intense cobalt flows downward and disappears into a golden earth.  Frankenthaler worked on large unprimed canvases that she placed onto the floor, and her painting process included pouring paint out of cans, manipulating the paint by pushing or spreading it around, and lifting up the edges of the canvas to let the paint run.  She was controlling how the paint flowed, but also allowing for spontaneous results. Named for a waterfall, the exact location of Blue Fall remains ambiguous, yet Frankenthaler is able to evoke the feeling of nature with painterly areas of color.


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