02-01-2013 02-02-2013
Skinner Auctions
Skinner Auctions Boston MA
2635B Boston
February 1, 2013 12:00 PMCalender

Helen Frankenthaler (American, 1928-2011) Drawing on Woodblock Proof I

Auction: American & European Works of Art - 2635B Location: Boston Date / Time: February 01, 2013 12:00PM


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.
Estimate $50,000-60,000

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.

The absence of a condition statement does not imply that the lot is in perfect condition or completely free from wear and tear, imperfections or the effects of aging. Condition requests can be obtained via email (lot inquiry button) or by telephone to the appropriate gallery location (Boston/617.350.5400 or Marlborough/508.970.3000). Any condition statement given, as a courtesy to a client, is only an opinion and should not be treated as a statement of fact. Skinner Inc. shall have no responsibility for any error or omission.


Helen Frankenthaler, The Morris Museum, Morristown, Long Island, Stedawill Art Foundation, Harry N. Abrams Inc., Andre Emmerich Gallery, Kenneth Tyler, Metropolitan Museum of Art, nonprofit food, Massachusetts