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., Tatyana 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
- Helen Frankenthaler
- East and Beyond
- United States
- Color woodcut from eight lauan mahogany plywood blocks on buff laminated Nepalese paper
- 792 × 534 mm (sheet)
- U.L.A.E. Collection acquired through a challenge grant of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Dittmer; purchased with funds provided by supporters of the Department of Prints and Drawings; Centennial Endowment; Margaret Fisher Endowment Fund
- © 2018 Helen Frankenthaler / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York