Helen Frankenthaler (born December 12, 1928) is an American abstract expressionist artist. Born in New York City, her work is influenced by Jackson Pollock.
Her career was launched in 1952 with the exhibition of Mountains and Sea. In it, she introduced the style of painting directly on to an unprepared canvas, so that the material absorbs the colors. This style, known as "soak stain" was imitated by other artists (notably Morris Louis and Kenneth Noland) and launched the "Color Field" school of painting.
Some of her thoughts on painting:
A really good picture looks as if it's happened at once. It's an immediate image. For my own work, when a picture looks labored and overworked, and you can read in itówell, she did this and then she did that, and then she did thatóthere is something in it that has not got to do with beautiful art to me. And I usually throw these out, though I think very often it takes ten of those over-labored efforts to produce one really beautiful wrist motion that is synchronized with your head and heart, and you have it, and therefore it looks as if it were born in a minute. (In Barbara Rose, Frankenthaler (New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1975), p. 85)