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  • Over the Thanksgiving weekend of 1973, Helen Frankenthaler conceived of a rare series of 71 ceramic tiles, each uniquely painted and created with David Gil at Beddington Potters in Vermont. In the same year, she had started work on a monumental ceramic tile mural that was commissioned by the North Central Bronx Hospital. When the series of so-called Thanksgiving Day tiles were exhibited at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York in 1975, Barbara Rose lauded Frankenthaler as an "experimenter with new media and new techniques.”i Indeed, in these works Frankenthaler remarkably translated the ethereal, suffused effect of her soaked canvases in the domain of ceramics.


     i Barbara Rose, “Tiles by Helen Frankenthaler”, Vogue, May 1975, p. 44

    • Provenance

      Rosa Esman Gallery, New York
      Private Collection (acquired from the above)

    • Exhibited

      New York, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Helen Frankenthaler: Tiles, May - June 1975, no. 39
      New York, Rosa Esman Gallery, Helen Frankenthaler: Ceramic Tiles, September 9 – October 4, 1975
      Syracuse, The Everson Museum of Art, A Century of Ceramics in the United States: 1878-1978, May 5 - September 23, 1979

    • Literature

      John Elderfield, Frankenthaler, New York, 1989, p. 243 (illustrated)

    • Artist Biography

      Helen Frankenthaler

      Helen Frankenthaler was one of the most influential members of the second generation of Abstract Expressionists and had a considerable impact on the transition from the prevailing New York School sensibilities to the subsequent Color Field style. Frankenthaler first achieved widespread praise for the opaque, floating fields of color of her 1952 painting Mountain and Sea, created using a technique that involved pouring thinned paint onto untreated canvases that had been laid on the floor of her studio. This so-called “soak-stain” technique was an acclaimed overture to Frankenthaler’s tireless experimentations with other styles and media throughout her career, including work in ceramics, sculpture, and printmaking.  

      Frankenthaler’s distinguished career has been widely celebrated since its beginnings. She was featured in the storied 1951 Ninth Street Show in New York as well as in Clement Greenberg’s 1964 Post-Painterly Abstraction exhibition at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Frankenthaler co-represented the United States at the 33rd Venice Biennale in 1966 and received the National Medal of the Arts in 2001.  

      View More Works


Thanksgiving Day Series (#13)

signed "Frankenthaler" lower right; further signed "Frankenthaler" on the reverse
ceramic tile, stoneware with glazes
13 3/8 x 17 1/2 in. (34 x 44.5 cm)
Executed in 1973, this work is from a series of 71 unique tiles.

Full Cataloguing

$25,000 - 35,000 

Sold for $27,720

Contact Specialist

John McCord
Head of Day Sale, Morning Session
New York
+1 212 940 1261

[email protected]

20th c. and Contemporary Art Day Sale - Morning Session

New York 8 December 2020