Helen Frankenthaler

American, 1928-2011

Tutti-Fruitti

Helen Frankenthaler (American, 1928–2011). Tutti-Fruitti, 1966. Acrylic on canvas, 116 3/4 x 69 inches (296.6 x 175.3 cm). Collection Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York; Gift of Seymour H. Knox, Jr., 1976 (K1976:8). © Estate of Helen Frankenthaler / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

© Estate of Helen Frankenthaler / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

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© Estate of Helen Frankenthaler / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Image downloads are for educational use only. For all other purposes, please see our Obtaining and Using Images page.

Tutti-Fruitti, 1966

Artwork Details

Materials

acrylic on canvas

Measurements

overall: 116 3/4 x 69 inches (296.55 x 175.26 cm)

Collection Buffalo AKG Art Museum

Credit

Gift of Seymour H. Knox, Jr., 1976

Accession ID

K1976:8

Helen Frankenthaler pioneered a unique “soak-stain” technique, which was initially inspired by the work of Jackson Pollock. Frankenthaler departed from Pollock’s style by thinning her paint and pouring it onto bare canvas, allowing it to soak in and fuse with the surface in ways only partially under her control. She called the areas in which her colors met “well-ordered collisions.” In this painting, those collisions are particularly luminous, and Frankenthaler named the work Tutti-Fruitti after a kind of confection, such as ice cream, that mixes numerous brightly colored fruit flavors. By developing her soak-stain technique while she was still in her early 20s, Frankenthaler secured her place in the New York art world. In 1953, Kenneth Noland and Morris Louis, two young artists who taught in Washington, D.C., came to New York to see the critic Clement Greenberg, who suggested they visit Frankenthaler’s studio. Her work’s effect on them was immediate and intense—when Noland and Louis returned to Washington, they began to develop their own staining techniques. Louis later called Frankenthaler “the bridge between Pollock and what was possible.”

Label from Sincerely Yours: Treasures of the Queen City, July 5–September 14, 2014

Abstract Expressionism