Bark Frameworks

Framing Projects

Line into Color, Color into Line: Helen Frankenthaler, Paintings 1962-1987

October 2016

“...A line, color, shapes, spaces, all do one thing for and within themselves, and yet do something else, in relation to everything that is going on within the four sides [of the canvas]. A line is a line, but it is a color...”
—Helen Frankenthaler


Gagosian Gallery and the Helen Frankenthaler Foundation collaborated with Bark Frameworks to design frames for the Gallery’s recent exhibition of work by Helen Frankenthaler (1928 – 2011). The show, entitled “Line into Color, Color into Line: Helen Frankenthaler, Paintings 1962 - 1987” features 17 canvases made over a 25-year period. The works explore the nuances of Frankenthaler’s articulation of both color and line during this time. The Gallery describes Frankenthaler’s canvases as “an abstract parade of colored lines and areas” during the 1960s; by the 1980s the artist was creating “extraordinarily complex, visually-stunning surfaces” of “clumps of paint, with drawn elements.”

Bark Design Director Eric Knutzon worked closely with representatives from both Gagosian and the Frankenthaler Foundation to create frames for Frankenthaler’s canvases, some of which stretched nearly 10 feet in width. One notable aspect of our work on this exhibition is that several steps of the framing process were performed onsite – a service we can provide when transporting artworks may put them at risk. “The majority of art losses occur while items are in transit,” notes Laura Doyle, fine art specialist with Chubb Insurance.* Knutzon met with Gallery and Foundation staff at the storage facility to confer about frame selection; the artworks were inspected and measured there; and members of our art preservation staff traveled to the site to fit the works into their frames.

Many frame samples and finishes were considered for the paintings – after looking at several wood species and numerous finishes, hard maple float frames with a rich grey-brown stain and wax finish were selected to establish a simple, emphatic border for Frankenthaler’s works.

“Line into Color, Color into Line” runs at Gagosian Beverly Hills Sept. 16 - Oct. 29, 2016.


© 2016 Helen Frankenthaler Foundation, Inc./Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.
Photography: Jeff McLane. Courtesy Gagosian Gallery.

* “7 Art Shipping Nightmares and How Best to Avoid Them,” by Eileen Kinsella, Artnet.com, Nov. 23, 2015.

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