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Helen Frankenthaler "Variation II on Mauve Corner", 1969 Lithograph

Product Description

Her exquisite five-color lithograph, on Chatham British paper, is signed, dated and numbered in pencil ‘Frankenthaler 69’ (bottom right) & ‘Artists Proof 4/4’ (from an Edition of 21 plus 4 AP’s of which this is the 4th AP, bottom left). Published in 1969 by ULAE (Universal Limited Art Editions, founded 1955), West Islip, New York, with their blind stamp on the bottom left margins. Originally framed at Pace Editions, Inc. (Pace Prints) New York (label adhered to verso) and undisturbed.


"Variation II on Mauve Corner" and the vertically oriented "Variation I on Mauve Corner," both produced in 1969, exemplify her printing practice. "Variation II on Mauve Corner" resonates with Frankenthaler’s paintings of the late 1960s in its field of suspended, layered color and compositional play on the idea of boundaries and space. It also reflects Frankenthaler’s focus on translucency in ink—beneath the titular mauve is a layer of brown that subtly materializes, giving dimension to the color-shape. The central mauve form is self-contained by its irregular yet restrained contour. Green and orange fingermarks balance the heavy form above and serve as an index of the artist’s presence. The title’s referent of “corner” urges one to evaluate the four corners left void by the fabricated black outline. Acting as both a frame and a compositional element, this black line reinforces Frankenthaler’s play with restrictive boundaries and her larger challenge to artistic conventions.


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. Through her invention of the soak-stain technique, she expanded the possibilities of abstract painting, while at times referencing figuration and landscape in unique ways. She produced a body of work whose impact on contemporary art has been profound and continues to grow.


A slight rippling in the paper, very slight discoloration on bottom edge of paper and some residue (sticker?) on lower right corner of the frame.


Image size: 13 1/2” x 16 3/4” (32.2 x 42.5 cm)

Sheet size: 20” x 25” (50.8 x 63.5 cm)

Frame size: 22 1/4" x 27 1/2" x 1" (56.5 x 69.8 x 2.5 cm)

$10,000.00 $12,000.00
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