Monday, April 5, 2010

A First Thursday Gift…No Fooling!

The first Thursday of every month in San Francisco is best known for gallery openings, especially the galleries near Union Square. Many Galleries in the area hold opening receptions and present new work to throngs of San Francisco’s “art-hungry” masses.

Portrait of Helen Frankenthaler from the Ernst Haas Estate Portraits.
I was elated to learn that on Thursday April 1st (yes, April Fools day) that the John Berggruen Gallery would be having a retrospective of Helen Frankenthaler’s work (paintings 1961–1973), and I knew I had to go view these important works in person.
Helen Frankenthaler at work from the Ernst Haas Estate Portaits.

Helen Frankenthaler has always been one of my favorite abstract expressionists, and is also known as one of the pioneers of the Color Field painting movement. The Color Field is exemplified by New York artists in the 1940 s and 50s. Ms. Frankenthaler is best known for large scale works that look like watercolor, but have been executed in oil. Two of her mentors were Hans Hoffman and Jackson Pollack. The exhibition is an amazing window into her work from this time and will probably not be assembled ever again (one work is on loan from the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and there are three more pieces from private collections).
Interior Landscape by Helen Frankenthaler 1964. Collection of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art from the New York Times.

What can I say? The work was astonishing to see in person, and I think I have only ever seen her work one painting at a time. To have all the paintings assembled in one place was overwhelming, but a real gift!
The John Berggruen Gallery April 1, 2010 showing the work of Helen Frankenthaler.

The exhibit is at the John Berggruen Gallery now through May 22, 2010.

David Hansen

No comments: