American abstract expressionist painter Helen Frankenthaler was born in 1928 in New York City. She attended the Dalton School in New York, then Bennington College, where she studied under Paul Feeley and Hans Hoffman. She was known for being one of the most notable American post-war painters and had a career that spanned six decades. Early in her career, she was introduced to Jackson Pollock, Franz Kline and Robert Motherwell, the latter of which went on to marry.
Frankenthaler, although influenced by traditional abstract expressionist techniques, created her own innovative methods including the ‘soak-stain’ technique that produced luminous, bold colour washes. Her work featured in the 1964 Post-Painterly Abstraction exhibition, which was curated by Clement Greenberg. It is believed this exhibition helped give rise to Color Field Painting, which became very popular within the world of American art.
In her later career, Helen Frankenthaler became more interested in alternative media, such as woodcuts. She received a wide array of honours, awards and medals during her career. Frankenthaler died aged 83 in Darien, Connecticut. Her extended and distinguished career was the subject of many large exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, The National Gallery of Art in Washington, amongst many others.