On Tuesday Dec. 5, 2023, at 11.30 a.m. Joseph Gallivan interviews curator Bruce Guenther about Helen Frankenthaler, a show of her prints which is on now at the Oregon Jewish Museum through March 23, 2024. Guenther talks about the famous painter’s approach to printing, her use of gesture, hundreds of colors and the punk-rock attitude toward serious master printers.
This show was recorded on a Zoom H2N recorder on November 30, and engineered by Ray Bodwell https://kboo.fm/blog/55224
FROM THE PRESS RELEASE:
WORKS FROM THE COLLECTIONS OF JORDAN D. SCHNITZER AND HIS FAMILY FOUNDATION
December 3, 2023 – March 24, 2024
A towering figure in American painting of the 20th century, Helen Frankenthaler (1928-2011) was one of first major abstract expressionist painters to develop a unique technique of painting that married a fluid paint process with the warp and weft of the canvas so that they became one and the same, fusing color and movement into an emotional whole. Her lyrical abstractions of sensuous color, light, and space both enlighten and enrich the viewer’s sensibilities with their unity and immediacy of effect.
When Frankenthaler turned to printmaking in 1963, she brought the same independence of spirit and challenging of convention to the process-bound world of the print atelier – as her stain and poured technique had been to painting – in order to create new methodologies of production to capture the act of spontaneous expression. Curated by Bruce Guenther, the exhibition presents a cross section of her work in the four major print media – woodcuts, intaglio, lithographs, and screenprints – that showcases her innovation and original contribution to printmaking. Drawn from the holdings of the Jordan D. Schnitzer Collection, the exhibition is especially rich in woodcuts, which was the last of the four print media picked up by Frankenthaler and the one in which she virtually reinvented the process to incorporate the vital energy and flux of her signature paintings. The woodblocks are considered her most original contribution to printmaking and some of the most beautiful prints made.
MADAME BUTTERFLY, 2000
Printed in one-hundred-two colors from forty-six woodblocks (30 birch, 14 maple, 1 lauan, 1 fir) on three sheets of sienna (center sheet) and light sienna (left/right sheets) handmade paper Edition AP 10/14
Published by Tyler Graphics Ltd.
Collection of Jordan D. Schnitzer
Image: Strode Photographic, Courtesy of Jordan Schnitzer Family Foundation
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Joseph Gallivan has been a reporter since 1990. He has covered music for the London Independent, Technology for the New York Post, and arts and culture for the Portland Tribune, where he is currently a Feature Writer. He is the author of two novels, "Oi, Ref!" and "England All Over" which are available on Amazon.com