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Helen Frankenthaler, Mountains and Sea, 1952, oil and charcoal on canvas, National Gallery of Art, Washington, Collection Helen Frankenthaler Foundation, Inc.

Mountains and Sea, Frankenthaler (Verbal Description)

This work is a perfect example of Frankenthaler’s technique of making pictures entirely by "staining," a process in which she poured thinned paint onto raw, unprimed canvas. This method results in fields of transparent color that seem to float in space, with the weave of the canvas establishing the flatness of the image. Her arrangement of colors and shapes often evoke the natural environment, and each work creates a unique visual space and atmosphere.