Helen Frankenthaler

Vessel

1961

Not on display

Artist
Helen Frankenthaler 1928–2011
Medium
Oil paint on canvas
Dimensions
Support: 2550 × 2397 mm
Collection
Presented by the Helen Frankenthaler Foundation (Tate Americas Foundation) 2019
On long term loan
Reference
L04286

Display caption

Vessel was produced with Frankenthaler’s ‘soak-stain’ technique. The composition emphasises symmetry, yet the painted form appears to pulse with implied movement and energy. It seems to play with the familiar idea of inkblots used in psychological testing. Parts of the canvas are deliberately left unpainted to help structure the composition. As Frankenthaler noted: ‘[The] “negative” space has just as active a role as the “positive” painted space. The negative spaces maintain shapes of their own and are not empty.’

Gallery label, August 2020

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