Situating Helen Frankenthaler's Wizard

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Publication Type thesis
School or College College of Fine Arts
Department Art & Art History
Author Byrne Cranny, Louise
Title Situating Helen Frankenthaler's Wizard
Date 2014-05
Description Completed in 1963, Helen Frankenthaler's Wizard stands apart from her then contemporary paintings, with its vertical orientation, body-sized scale, and figural allusion in both name and form. One of the last paintings Frankenthaler worked entirely in oil, Wizard should be understood as a crucial experiment in both method and medium, presaging key changes in Frankenthaler's established approach. The artist's works of 1962 show the last influences of didactic expressionism, where apparently unguided drips and blots of oil punctuate wide expanses of unprimed canvas, each piece emerging as an autonomous work. Between 1963-1964, however, Frankenthaler began to work serially, using acrylic rather than oil. At the same time, her work turned more profoundly interior, with enveloping swathes of paint containing centered but still abstracted images. With its recognizable, centrally placed figural form, its flooded surface, and its dense layering of paint, Wizard makes visible a pull between spontaneity and intent. The tensions of Wizard signal a change of direction for Frankenthaler. Where her works from 1962 clearly privileged flatness-the canvas of equal import with the paint-in Wizard and related works, a new and more conflicted relationship between form and material emerged.
Type Text
Publisher University of Utah
Subject 1963; Frankenthaler
Dissertation Institution University of Utah
Dissertation Name Master of Arts
Language eng
Rights Management Copyright © Louise Byrne Cranny 2014
Format Medium application/pdf
Format Extent 321,959 Bytes
Identifier etd3/id/2938
ARK ark:/87278/s6z63x85
Setname ir_etd
ID 196507
Reference URL