Helen Frankenthaler (American, 1928-2011)
Drawing on Woodblock Proof I, 1977. Signed and inscribed "Frankenthaler (Woodcut, mulberry juice, and crayon)" in pencil l.l., identified on labels from The Morris Museum, Morristown, New Jersey, and the André Emmerich Gallery, New York, on the backing. Woodcut with mulberry juice and crayon on paper, image size 25 x 19 5/8 in. (63.4 x 49.8 cm), framed.
Condition: Gentle cockling, narrow areas of pale staining near the side edges on the reverse.
Provenance: Collection of the Stedawill Art Foundation, Long Island, New York.
Literature: Pegram Harrison, Frankenthaler: A Catalogue Raisonne, Prints 1961-1994 (New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 1996), p. 242. [See Harrison 57, Related Works, no. 2.], Helen Frankenthaler: Monotypes & Drawings on Proofs catalogue for the exhibition (New York: Andre Emmerich Gallery, 1981), illustrated.
N.B. The work presented here used one of the blocks from Frankenthaler's four-block print Essence Mulberry. Frankenthaler worked closely with publisher Kenneth Tyler. Outside of his studio stood a mulberry tree, a very appropriate symbol for a printmaker, as the bark of the mulberry tree has been used in the making of paper for over 2,000 years. Not long after viewing an exhibition of fifteenth century woodcuts at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Frankenthaler found herself in front of Tyler's tree. It was covered with berries, and their juice put her in mind of the faded reds ubiquitous in that show, thus inspiring Essence Mulberry, and a large number of related works. This is one of the related works, where she used one of the blocks as a backdrop for her drawing.
Sold to benefit Community Servings, a nonprofit food and nutrition program feeding 1300 critically ill neighbors and their families each year in eighteen communities across Massachusetts.
The sheet measures 39 x 33 5/8 inches. The staining to the verso is band aproximately 2 inches wide along either side, but is quite pale. There is neither hinges nor tape to the verso - the sheet is loose.
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