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    "Frankenthaler has taken the risks and successfully transfigured her painting voice into this spectacular mixed-media object" —Ken Tyler, Tyler Graphics Ltd.
    With graceful color passages and technical precision, Helen Frankenthaler pushed the boundaries of printmaking and scale in Gateway to create her most ambitious multimedia project to date. Frankenthaler worked with Kenneth Tyler at Tyler Graphics, in Mt. Kisco, New York over a seven-year period from 1982 to 1988 to bring this project to fruition. With each panel of this triptych measuring 69 x 29 1/2 inches, the expansive magnesium and copper plates allowed Frankenthaler to approach printmaking with the same “gestural freedom” as her large-scale works on canvas. Despite the indirectness of the printing process, Frankenthaler worked closely with the printers to utilize the lush layering of intaglio techniques and inking to allow the print to retain the same organic feeling and effortlessness imbued in her mark-making.

     

    Mark Mahaffey, Tom De Bolt, and Roger Campbell stenciling color border on right panel of print, with Bob Cross and Marcella Morgese inspecting proof in background. Screenroom at Tyler Graphics, February 1988.

    Beginning with the print series in 1982, it was the 1984 show at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., The Folding Image: Screens by Western Artists of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, that inspired Frankenthaler to take her intaglio prints from 2D to 3D by incorporating the production of 12 unique bronze screens to accompany the prints as a separate variable edition. The edition’s exhibition catalogue from 1988 described the transition by saying, “Work began on the screen when trial proofs of the three printed panels were framed under plexiglas and taken to the foundry. There, the artist used molten wax to create brushstrokes, splatters, and drip shapes not only around, but also over the framed proofs, thereby expanding and extending the composition and adding another dimension to it.” This year's long collaboration resulted in an edition of 30 prints which utilize the various techniques of etching, relief, aquatint, and spitbite aquatint with hand-stenciled margins on three panels. In Gateway, we see Frankenthaler’s artistic practice in conversation with the material, allowing her transcendent style to speak through inherent qualities of copper, bronze, wax, and ink to create this multi-disciplinary tour de force.

     

    Rodney Konopaki and Bob Cross applying ink to magnesium plates for left and center panels of the editioned print. Pressroom Tyler Graphics, April 1987.

     

    • Literature

      Pegram Harrison 154

    • 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.  

       
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Gateway (H. 154)

1988
Monumental etching, relief and aquatint in colors with hand-stenciled margins, on three panels of TGL Handmade paper, the full sheets.
all S. 69 x 29 1/2 in. (175.3 x 74.9 cm)
The right panel signed and numbered 24/30 in pencil (there were also 10 artist's proofs), published by Tyler Graphics, Ltd., Mount Kisco, New York (with their blindstamp), all framed.

Full Cataloguing

Estimate
$60,000 - 90,000 

Sold for $100,800

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Editions & Works on Paper

New York Auction 19-21 October 2021