Home > Art Blog > Helen Frankenthaler Quotes

Helen Frankenthaler Quotes

Helen Frankenthaler quotes about art, her art and being an artist.


“There are no rules. That is how art is born, how breakthroughs happen. Go against the rules or ignore the rules. That is what invention is about.”


“I’d rather risk an ugly surprise than rely on things I know I can do.”


“Every canvas is a journey all its own.There are no rules. Let the picture lead you where it must go.”


Tiger’s Eye by Helen Frankenthaler


“You have to know how to use the accident, how to recognise it, how to control it, and ways to eliminate it so that the whole surface looks felt and born all at once.”


“Art has a will of its own. It has nothing to do with the taste of the moment or what’s expected of you. That’s a formula for dead art, or fashionable art.”


“In relations with people, as in art, if you always stick to style, manners, and what will work, and you’re never caught off guard, then some beautiful experiences never happen.”


“I follow the rules until I go against them all.”


“I don’t resent being a female painter. I don’t exploit it. I paint.”


Causeway by Helen Frankenthaler
Causeway, 2001, Helen Frankenthaler


“What concerns me when I work, is not whether the picture is a landscape, or whether it’s pastoral, or whether somebody will see a sunset in it. What concerns me is – did I make a beautiful picture?”


“I don’t start with a colour order, but find the colours as I go.”


“A picture that is beautiful, or that comes off, or that works, looks as if it was all made at one stroke.”


Broome Street At Night by Helen Frankenthaler
Broome Street At Night, 1987, Helen Frankenthaler


“What has made it work, or what makes certain paintings successful or not, has to do with my being a painter and a thinking, feeling person, more than my sex, colour, height, origin.”


“I’ve explored a variety of directions and themes over the years. But I think in my painting you can see the signature of one artist, the work of one wrist.”


Helen Frankenthaler Prints

Click to view available art prints by Helen Frankenthaler.