The Tate Americas Foundation received a gift of a major painting by Helen Frankenthaler (1928–2011), one of the leading figures of abstract American art in the 20th century. Vessel 1961, a spectacular example of the artist’s work created during an important early stage of her career, has been generously donated by the Helen Frankenthaler Foundation in New York and marks the first painting by the artist to enter the museum’s collection. It is now on show at Tate Modern alongside four other paintings on loan from the Helen Frankenthaler Foundation as part of a year-long free display of the artist’s work.
Vessel was made using Frankenthaler’s signature ‘soak-stain’ technique, whereby she poured thinned oil paint onto raw canvas placed directly on the studio floor. This allowed her to create pools and lines of paint, which she moved with brushes and other tools to produce washes of color. ‘There are no rules’, she said. ‘That is how art is born.’
15 December 2019