Art: A Love of Spontaneous Gesture

The lyrical color-fields of Helen Frankenthaler are surveyed in a new show

Helen Frankenthaler, whose semiretrospective of 40 paintings opens this week at New York City's Museum of Modern Art and will travel after Aug. 20 to museums in Fort Worth, Los Angeles and Detroit, must now be America's best- known living woman artist. She is only 60, but she was precocious, and her career has been long. Among women artists associated with abstract expressionism, she stands second only to the late Lee Krasner. You could never claim that she has Krasner's emotional range as a painter: pessimism, anger, every abrasive emotion are caught in some inner filter before they can reach Frankenthaler's...

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