Widely considered one of the most important contemporary artists, Helen Frankenthaler is internationally celebrated brated for her role in the development of Color Field painting and for her exquisite color-saturated canvases. This publication is the first devoted to Frankenthaler's woodcuts: a body of work that represents a singular achievement by an American printer. Published to coincide with an exhibition of these extraordinary prints, Helen Frankenthaler: The Woodcuts features all twenty-four editions of the Woodcuts Frankenthaler has made to date. No artist working today has achieved such painterly results with woodcut, the oldest printmaking medium. And yet her woodcuts are never emply translations of painting into print. They are, above all, woodcuts, which acknowledge and utilize the properties of the medium to great effect. In Frankenthaler's prints, the wood's grain carries color, and the paper's surface holds it. Beginning with the delicate East and Beyond (1973), her first woodcut, and concluding with the triptych Aadame Butterfly (2000), the evolution of Frankenthaler's woodcuts is traced. Also reproduced are paintings on wood for Madame Butterfly and the Tales of Genji series (1998), inspired by Murasaki Shikibu's classic narrative work and the Japanese Ukiyo-e tradition. The working and trial proofs that precede the final editions and the monotype and unique works that follow them are reproduced as well. The book also includes photographs of woodblocks and progressive proofs that allow the reader to see the technical aspects of printmaking.
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