Helen Frankenthaler (American, 1928 – 2011)
The Bay, 1963
Acrylic on canvas
80 ¾ x 81 ¾ in (205 x 208 cm)
Detroit Institute of Arts
© 2016 Helen Frankenthaler Foundation, Inc./ARSNY


Frankenthaler created this canvas in 1963 when she was dividing her time between New York and a summer residence in Provincetown, Massachusetts.  The painting’s massive section of billowy blue paint in modulating shades floods the space, emphasizing an abstraction of a landscape.  Made with acrylic paint and rendered on a grand scale, pools of color soaked into the raw canvas appear almost like watercolor.  The Bay was selected and exhibited at the American Pavilion of the 1966 Venice Biennale, along with works by Ellsworth Kelly, Roy Lichtenstein, and Jules Olitski.


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