The rich washes of color Frankenthaler orchestrates across the surface of this canvas masterfully demonstrate the “soak-stain” technique which has characterized her legacy. In her signature process, the artist would dilute her paint with turpentine, allowing it to fully soak into the fibers of a raw canvas, thus fusing the paint with its material support, and drawing focus to the canvas as an integral part of the work itself. Following her divorce from Robert Motherwell in 1971, Frankenthaler embarked upon a decade of experimentation with other methods and mediums, such as steel sculptures, woodcuts, and set and costume designs, and by 1986, she had amassed a repertoire of techniques and signatures that established her as among the most talented and inventive painters of the period. While her unique gestural forms were influenced by Jackson Pollock’s drips, unlike the forceful brushwork of her male counterparts, Frankenthaler’s motifs are much more fluid and harmonious, lending her work a rich and poetic quality. In The Strand, her mastery of paint and innovative technique are immediately recognizable in this powerful display of a mature artist at the height of her career.
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