• Pick of the Week

    "Brother Angel" (1983), acrylic/canvas, 168.3x297.2 cm, (c) 2016 Helen Frankenthaler Foundation, Inc./ARS, courtesy Gagosian Gallery

    Line into Color, Color into Line: Helen Frankenthaler

    It is almost an existential question – of art, creation, medium – the ‘still point of the turning world … (w)here the dance is,’ to paraphrase Eliot’s “Burnt Norton.” Helen Frankenthaler was already well into her early maturity by 1962, which is where this 25 year survey begins; but those critical, quasi-existential questions of figure and ground, defining a contour out of the surround – the ‘formless void’ lit by the ‘grace’ of color – remain at the heart of an artistic project that luxuriated in its paradoxical conditions and never compromised. Within the scope of only seventeen large canvases – the most succinct and self-contained of the current crop of museum quality exhibitions in L.A. galleries right now – the show takes us from an almost lyrical abstraction verging on landscape to a kind of linear gesture against ephemeral color field that’s almost a painterly haiku; from the most vibratile exegesis of edge and morphing shape to surreal abstraction alive with incident both linear and chromatic. A video excerpt from Frankenthaler: Toward a New Climate (did she foresee that, too?) gives us a taste of her incisive intellectual clarity. We go out the way we came in; and Frankenthaler’s work never loses sight of it.

    Gagosian Gallery
    456 N. Camden Drive
    Beverly Hills, CA 90210
    Show runs thru October 29, 2016

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