Helen Frankenthaler (1928 - 2011)
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A major contributor to the history of postwar American painting, Helen Frankenthaler was an American abstract expressionist painter who was born in Manhattan, New York City, New York. Frankenthaler studied at the Dalton School, under Rufino Tamayo, and at Bennington College, Vermont. Her career as an abstract expressionist was launched in 1952 with the exhibition of Mountains and Sea. With this painting, Frankenthaler introduced the "soak stain" technique, in which oil paints are heavily diluted with turpentine so that color can soak directly into the canvas. She was heavily influenced by Clement Greenberg. Her work is also known for falling under the Color Field painting category, as her works were characterized by large areas of a more or less flat single color. In 2001, Frankenthaler received the National Medal of the Arts and, from 1985 to 1992, she served on the National Council on the Arts of the National Endowment for the Arts.