Western Dream

Helen Frankenthaler American

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 919

Frankenthaler’s Western Dream presents a lyrical and hallucinatory suggestion of landscape, sky, breeze, heat, and turf, with hints of flora and fauna scattered throughout. The sights and sensations seem to shimmer, coming into being and quickly fading away—an effect of the artist’s innovative technique of staining the canvas. Many other painters, such as Morris Louis, followed her lead in this approach, which advanced the generational concern for flatness in painting as essential to the medium. Louis famously described Frankenthaler’s work as "the bridge between [Jackson] Pollock and what is possible."

Western Dream, Helen Frankenthaler (American, New York 1928–2011 Darien, Connecticut), Oil on unsized, unprimed canvas

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