Public Program

Hybrid Vigor: Frankenthaler and Ravel

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).

Register Online

Visit DACAMERA’s website to register. Before the event, you will receive an email with the link to watch. Like all Menil programs, this performance is free and open to everyone.

About the Performer

DACAMERA Artistic Director Sarah Rothenberg has been creating interdisciplinary programs connecting music, art and literature throughout her career as a pianist. Her 2009 production, The Blue Rider in Performance, which premiered to sold out houses at Columbia University’s Miller Theater in partnership with the Guggenheim Museum’s Kandinsky retrospective, was described by The Wall Street Journal as “altogether stunning.” She has created and performed musical programs on such artists as Pablo Picasso, Eugene Delacroix, Gustav Klimt, Paul Klee, Mark Rothko, Cy Twombly, Kurt Schwitters, Max Ernst, Kazimir Malevich; and her lectures and commentary have been presented by MoMA, The Guggenheim Museum, The Jewish Museum, Museum of Fine Arts Houston, in addition to her close collaborations with the Menil Collection and Rothko Chapel.