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East and Beyond

A work made of color woodcut from eight blocks on buff nepalese paper.
© 2018 Helen Frankenthaler / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

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  • A work made of color woodcut from eight blocks on buff nepalese paper.




Helen Frankenthaler (American, 1928-2011)
printed by Bill Goldston, Juda Rosenberg, and James Smith
published by 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


Helen Frankenthaler


East and Beyond


United States (Artist's nationality:)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.



Color woodcut from eight blocks on buff Nepalese paper


Image: 60.3 × 45.3 cm (23 3/4 × 17 7/8 in.); Sheet: 80.4 × 54.8 cm (31 11/16 × 21 5/8 in.)

Credit Line

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

Reference Number



© 2018 Helen Frankenthaler / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Extended information about this artwork

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