Staff Pick – Painted on 21st Street: Helen Frankenthaler from 1950 to 1959

Painted on 21st StreetMy pick this month is Painted on 21st Street : Helen Frankenthaler from 1950 to 1959 by John Elderfield. This is a wonderful look at the place and time of a classic female abstract expressionist. It follows the swell of her art career and the scene and people that opened the art world to her sensitive and extraordinary talent. It is mostly documentary, but a story is there in the chronology of a woman ‘making it’ in a man’s world, mid-20th century. She is fiercely feminine, and yet resists the separation of her art into feminine categories. Thirty illustrations allow her work to speak for itself.

In addition to becoming more familiar with the process and work of Ms. Frankenthaler, we learn more about her contemporaries: Clement Greenberg, Frank O’Hara, Carl Belz and her friendships with Lee Krasner and Jackson Pollock.

-Contributed by Molly, Youth Services