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Jacob's Ladder
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nlipman's picture

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Soft, fluid, almost transparent, if you can say that about a solid canvas. That is exactly what Helen Frankenthaler said she wanted to achieve in Jacob's Ladder.

She borrowed her technique from Jackson Pollock, laying large-scale canvases on the floor, sometimes the size of her whole studio, and painted with very thin oil paint using a sponge and house-brush. The idea was to free the painting as if it had no boundaries. Although she named this piece Jacob's Ladder, there are no figures, nor ladder, but only an expression of shapes.
 
Upon sending her canvases out of her New York studio to an exhibition, Frankenthaler said: "I can't help it if they don't like it! I'll stand by it, because I think it's good." The Helen Frankenthaler Foundation is in Manhattan, if you'd like another peek at her artwork and heritage. If you want to see her in action, you can go on YouTube.