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Chalk Zone

Photo Credit: Rich Sanders, Des Moines

Chalk Zone

Artist: Helen Frankenthaler (American, 1928 - 2011)
Date: 1968
Medium: Acrylic on canvas
Dimensions:
Frame: 101 × 59 × 1 1/2 in. (256.5 × 149.9 × 3.8 cm.)
Canvas (/image): 100 × 58 in. (254 × 147.3 cm.)
Credit Line: Des Moines Art Center Permanent Collections; Gift of Ann Hintz, 2008.28
Accession number: 2008.28
Classification: painting
Copyright:ARS
Label TextThis work represents a superb example of Helen Frankenthaler's mature style. She studied with Hans Hofmann and Rufino Tamayo, and is best known for her large stained canvases produced with washes of diluted acrylic paint. The diluted paint functions like watercolor soaking into raw, unstretched canvas as opposed to resting on the surface. This process merges the paint and its support into one entity, diminishing painting's traditional figure and ground relationship. Frankenthaler's approach influenced a generation of artists, especially color-field painters such as Kenneth Noland and Morris Louis. Source: News, October November December 2008.
Frankenthaler pioneered a method of painting in which she poured paint directly onto unprimed canvas. As the liquid absorbed into the canvas fibers, it merged color and surface, and was subsequently adopted by other artists, including Morris Louis and Kenneth Noland, both of whom are in the Art Center’s permanent collection. Chalk Zone focuses on color relationships and the edges created where shapes meet. The forms and fields of colors seem immense, as if the frame is allowing the viewer to see just a small portion of an infinite scene. The title suggests that the painting is a kind of landscape, possibly seen from a great distance. July 22, 2020
SignedFrankenthaler 1968 (verso l,c on canvas margin in black)
Frankenthaler '68 (verso c,r on stretcher bar in black)
Frankenthaler (verso u,l on canvas margin in red)
Inscription"Chalk Zone" 1968 (verso u,l on canvas margin in red)
entirely unexpected