Project Description


Curated by John Elderfield

Museo di Palazzo Grimani, Venice
May 7 – November 17, 2019

Promoted by
Helen Frankenthaler Foundation
Venetian Heritage

The Helen Frankenthaler Foundation, together with Gagosian and Venetian Heritage, is pleased to present PITTURA/PANORAMA: the first presentation of Helen Frankenthaler’s paintings drawn from the Foundation’s collection, which is also the first presentation of her work in Venice since its appearance in 1966 at the American Pavilion of the 33rd Biennale.
Helen Frankenthaler (1928–2011), whose career spanned six decades, has long been recognized as one of the great American artists of the twentieth century. She was eminent among the second generation of postwar American abstract painters and is widely credited for playing a pivotal role in the transition from Abstract Expressionism to Color Field painting.
The exhibition will feature fourteen paintings covering a forty-year span of the artist’s career. It will focus on the relationship in Frankenthaler’s development of the “pittura” and the “panorama”: the interplay of works like easel paintings, although made on the floor, and large, horizontal paintings that open onto shallow but expansive spaces, in the way that panoramas do.
The exhibition includes panoramic works ranging from Open Wall (1953), a painting that anticipated the work of the Color Field school of the 1960s, to Frankenthaler’s richly atmospheric canvases of the early 1990s. The works will be installed in a broadly but not strictly chronological sequence, revealing connections between works of different periods, and a development of both continuity and continuing change.