Fluid Expressions: The Prints of Helen Frankenthaler, from the Collections of Jordan D. Schnitzer and His Family Foundation
February 2-June 2, 2019
Although widely known for her iconic “soak-stain” canvases, Helen Frankenthaler (1928-2011) was an equally inventive printmaker who took risks in a medium not frequently explored by abstract expressionists. Fluid Expressions: The Prints of Helen Frankenthaler highlights the artist’s often-overlooked, yet highly original, whimsical, and powerfully evocative print production. Drawn from the collections of Jordan D. Schnitzer and His Family Foundation, this exhibition includes more than 25 prints made using a diverse range of techniques, including lithography, etching, screen printing, and woodcut. The artist’s adaptation of her painterly aesthetic for the graphic medium offers a stunning look at how printmaking – notorious for being a slow, methodical process – can exude a sense of spontaneity and immediacy. From splattered pigments to translucent layers of ink, the radiant prints brought together her pulse with creative energy.
This exhibition was organized by the Jordan Schnitzer Family Foundation, which through a generous grant also made possible the associated publication.
Lecture with Gwen Chanzit
March 7 | 5:30 p.m.
To celebrate the FAC’s exhibition, Fluid Expressions: The Prints of Helen Frankenthaler, Gwen Chanzit will discuss Women of Abstract Expressionism, an exhibition she organized at the Denver Art Museum in 2016. Women of Abstract Expressionism was the first full-scale museum presentation of paintings by female artists of the Abstract Expressionist movement, including one of the most successful artists, Helen Frankenthaler.
The history of Abstract Expressionism has always been centered on male artists like Jackson Pollock and Willem De Kooning. This groundbreaking show brought to light extraordinary canvases by women painters, many of whom had been little known. The exhibition received attention in print and online media, including, among others, Time, Art News, Vogue, Hyperallergic, The Atlantic,and The New York Times. Dr. Chanzit presented talks on this topic at such venues as the Helen Frankenthaler Foundation and Christies in New York, and the Royal Academy in London. Her presentation will include approx. 100 color images from the 2016 exhibition.
Gwen Chanzit holds a Ph.D. in art history and is the Curator Emerita of Modern Art and the Herbert Bayer Collection and Archive at the Denver Art Museum, and is Professor of the Practice and Director of Museum Studies in Art History at the University of Denver. Over her 36-plus years at the Denver Art Museum, Dr. Chanzit has organized more than 30 exhibitions. Her major curatorial project, Women of Abstract Expressionism, opened at the Denver Art Museum in June 2016 and was on tour for a year. Dr. Chanzit is regarded as the world expert on Bauhaus artist Herbert Bayer; she has published several books highlighting Bayer’s wide-ranging artistic contributions.