Helen Frankenthaler (American, 1928 – 2011)
Milkwood Arcade, 1963
Acrylic on canvas
86 ¼ x 80 in (219 x 203 cm)
Helen Frankenthaler Foundation
© 2016 Helen Frankenthaler Foundation, Inc./ARSNY


Milkwood Arcade, like The Bay, was painted in 1963, a particularly productive and creative period for Frankenthaler.  Milkwood is a type of tree and the brown verticals read like trunks leading to billowing leaves moving in a breeze. The vibrant yellow background acts as a backdrop for a more geometric central composition.  Colors and shapes create the space within the canvas.  Specifically, rough brown squares echo the canvas edges while the blue and green planes support the “trees.”  Raw canvas is visible between the colors, reminding the viewer that the surface is a part of the work.


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