Sunday, December 16, 2007

A really good picture



I love this 1984 photo by Hans Namuth of Helen Frankenthaler. She's standing in her converted garage in Stamford, Connecticut (which she later tore down to build a new studio). It has a permanent place on my studio bulletin board. I can't say that I paid close attention to Frankenthaler's work until relatively recently except that every single time I walked by one of her pieces in a museum I would think, WOW! I really like that. That's great! Now that I've learned more, I admire both her and her work tremendously, appreciate the noble path she's blazed and feel a sort of kinship with her.

I quoted this in the opening of my Landscape into Art blog but because it's relevant to the stream of this little blog series, I'm quoting it again. It's a good one!
"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 it—well, she did this and then she did that, and then she did that—there 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." —Helen Frankenthaler (Barbara Rose, Frankenthaler (New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc. 1975, p. 85)


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