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East and Beyond

A work made of woodcut from two blocks in orange and red on newsprint.

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  • A work made of woodcut from two blocks in orange and red on newsprint.

Date:

1973

Artist:

Helen Frankenthaler (American, 1928-2011)
produced at Universal Limited Art Editions (American, founded 1955)

About this artwork

“The woodcuts more than anything else I’ve done at Universal made me ecstatic, furious, frustrated, ready to give up and ready to solve the problem.”

In 1972, 11 years after Frankenthaler first began making prints at U.L.A.E., Grosman suggested that the artist try her hand at making woodcuts. Though no one at the studio had yet attempted the process, Frankenthaler was open to the challenge and, with the team of printers, developed an approach compatible with her artistic sensibilities.

After rejecting the traditional woodcut process, in which an artist carves into a wood block, Frankenthaler found a solution in the work of an earlier artist, the Norwegian expressionist Edvard Munch. In his woodcuts Munch put pieces of individually inked wood together and printed the image in one run. Following this method, Frankenthaler cut shapes from a piece of lauan mahogany using a jigsaw and reassembled them for printing. But she hated the white spaces inevitably left behind where the blocks met. To resolve this, the artist printed each block separately and relied on precise registration by the master printers at U.L.A.E. to achieve a seamless flow of color.

The results are some of Frankenthaler’s most powerful and unique prints. In fact, many consider this body of work to be her greatest accomplishment in printmaking.

Currently Off View

Prints and Drawings

Artist

Helen Frankenthaler

Title

East and Beyond

Origin

United States

Date

1973

Medium

Woodcut from two blocks in orange and red on newsprint

Dimensions

737 × 580 mm (sheet)

Credit Line

Gift of Universal Limited Art Editions

Reference Number

2018.703l

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.

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