Helen Frankenthaler (1928–2011)
SEA CHANGE, 1982
Acrylic on unprimed canvas
38 x 116 ½ inches
Museum purchase with funds provided by the 1987 and 1988 Associate Board Art Ball
Helen Frankenthaler is widely recognized as the first painter to fully realize the potential of the soak-stain technique. This process, in which acrylic paint is thinned and then applied to an unprimed canvas to completely saturate it, profoundly affected Frankenthaler’s style and that of her contemporaries, Kenneth Noland and Morris Louis. Using this technique, the colors and forms in Frankenthaler’s work float in and out of the shallow surface, creating and denying space. This work, executed 30 years after her first soak-stain canvas, demonstrates her interest in the lyrical effects of pure, saturated areas of color.