Mixografia

Helen Frankenthaler: A Certain Magic

Helen Frankenthaler: A Certain Magic

Helen Frankenthaler

Los Angeles, CA (August, 2020) - Mixografia is pleased to present Helen Frankenthaler: A Certain Magic, featuring editions created in collaboration with Helen Frankenthaler throughout 1989.

Although primarily recognized for her accomplishments as a painter, Frankenthaler was also an innovative printmaker who worked with publishers and master printers to create a large body of editions using a variety of techniques including lithography, etching, relief, and monotype. Mixografia is pleased to present a selection of prints from this influential body of work, and to emphasize Frankenthaler’s wide-ranging embrace of the medium’s experimental potential. As she ventured into printmaking, she discovered a collaborative approach that contrasted her studio practice. Speaking about the process of working with printmakers, she says: “I wanted things that I couldn’t at times articulate […] but between our exchange we got this music”. Through her creative synergy with master printers, Frankenthaler was able to overcome some of the technical specificities of print media, and ultimately achieved the sense of gestural spontaneity that was central to her way of working.

In 1989, Frankenthaler produced a series of monumental editions with Mixografia following a serendipitous encounter at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, on the occasion of the Museum’s grand opening and during which her work was featured. Already well known for her work in prints, she ultimately saw in the Mixografia process yet another opportunity to expand the possibilities of her work within printmaking. She employed a range of multimedia techniques, using poured wax, power tools, layering material, and brute force to create printing surfaces that achieved a level of textural complexity akin to the built surface of a painting, which she could not achieve with the traditional flatness of other printmaking methods.

Image Credit:

Tahiti, 1989 Mixografía® print on handmade paper Edition of 45, 32 x 54 in

It is one thing for the artist to have a certain magic and produce a certain magic but for the technicians and the press […] to get it is something truly special.

Helen Frankenthaler, quoted in an interview at Tyler Graphics, Mount Kisco, 11 July 1994, Sound Reel 10

Helen Frankenthaler

Tahiti

1989

32 x 54 in

Mixografia print on handmade paper

Edition of 45

$60,000

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Helen Frankenthaler

Alaska

1989

48 x 37 in

Mixografia print on handmade paper

Edition of 50

$30,000

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Helen Frankenthaler working on the maquette for the edition "Sirocco", 1989

Helen Frankenthaler

Bird of Paradise

1986-89

97 x 50 x 3.5 in

Cast copper bas-relief

Edition of 14

Price on request

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Helen Frankenthaler

Guadalupe

1989

69 x 45 in

Mixografia print on handmade paper

Edition of 74

$50,000

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Helen Frankenthaler mixing plaster for the cast copper sculptural edition "Bird of Paradise", 1989

Helen Frankenthaler

Hermes

1989

44 x 92 in

Mixografia print on handmade paper

Edition of 50

Not for sale

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Helen Frankenthaler

Sirocco

1989

37 x 35 in

Mixografia print on handmade paper

Edition of 52

$30,000

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Helen Frankenthaler with Maureen St. Onge in the studio with the maquette for "Guadalupe", 1989

Helen Frankenthaler (1928-2011), was an American contemporary artist active for six decades. Helen Frankenthaler exemplifies the freedom of experimentation and departure from convention with which she and a generation of artists to follow are synonymous. Her expansive career heralded a new direction in mid-century American art that shifted away from the cultural monolith of Abstract Expressionism, with her soak-stain technique marking a departure from the dominant modes of abstraction toward a new distinction in the realm of action painting known as post-painterly abstraction. There is a thread throughout all of her work that is born from transformation, chance and choice entwined in the pursuit of pure expression.

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