Presented in partnership with DACAMERA, take a deep musical and visual dive into the painting Hybrid Vigor, 1973, by Helen Frankenthaler, paired with Maurice Ravel’s sensuous Une barque sur l’ocean.
DACAMERA Artistic Director and pianist Sarah Rothenberg performs in the Menil galleries, leading viewers through a close look at color and line in music and painting.
Frankenthaler’s monumental painting Hybrid Vigor is currently on view in the Menil Collection’s galleries of Modern and Contemporary art. On loan from a private collection, this is the first time this work has been presented at a museum since it was acquired in the 1970s. In this painting, strips of blue paint and bands of white heighten the horizontality of the painting. Along with the enveloping blooms and bleeds of washy cobalt, bright green, vivid yellow, and dense magenta hues, the painting exemplifies Frankenthaler’s desire to imbue her bold work with an encompassing cinematic quality.
Helen Frankenthaler (1928–2011) had a distinguished and prolific career that spanned six decades. A highly influential figure in the Abstract Expressionism and Color Field Painting movements, she is known for her invention of the “soak-stain” technique, which expanded the possibilities of abstract painting. Her work has been the subject of numerous solo museum exhibitions, as well as three major monographs: Frankenthaler, by Barbara Rose (1972); Frankenthaler, by John Elderfield (1989); and Frankenthaler: A Catalogue Raisonné, Prints 1961–1994, by Suzanne Boorsch and Pegram Harrison (1996).