Helen Frankenthaler, Essence Mulberry, woodcut (courtesy Tyler Graphics)
Kenneth Tyler remembers Helen Frankenthaler's groundbreaking printmaking work at Tyler Graphics. He not only fondly recalls working with Frankenthaler, but also describes in detail the collaborative process involved in creating her large-scale woodcut prints.
Tyler describes: "For the Genji and Madame Butterfly woodcuts, she made wonderful painted wood panels that were used as the guide for making the color woodcuts on colored handmade papers (made by John Hutcheson and Tom Strianese). Yasu [Shibata] carved the many blocks, closely collaborating with Helen on every nuance of carving and printing. For Radius and Freefall, she painted color paper pulp maquettes, splashing away in our paper mill. These studies were interpreted by Tom into numerous stencils, the stencils then employed to apply color pulp to handmade paper substrates. These lushly colored sheets were used for the woodcut editions."
Sarah Kirk Hanley blogs about Helen Frankenthaler's groundbreaking prints.
Hanley writes that "Frankenthaler’s contributions as a painter are generally the focus of discussion, but her achievements as a printmaker are equal – if not greater – in importance. In fact, she continued to make inroads in this medium and garner critical attention for her editions even after contemporary taste had relegated her painting to the margins... her 1973 breakthough in woodcut, East and Beyond - the elegance and simplicity of which inspired a resurgence of interest in woodcut, which had been relatively neglected for over a half a century."
The Kenneth Tyler Print Collection blog posts about their long history collaborating with artist Frank Stella on his prints and sculptures. The post documents "the serendipitous and open-minded way Frank finds many of his images. With a Melville-like appreciation of high and low, squalid and pristine, silly and serious, it is no wonder that 'stuff' from so many sources makes Stella's studio a place for alchemy. A rusted hulk of steel, the left over armature of a foundry casting, or tourist's Brazilian twisty beach hat, can become a sculpture with profound grace and impact."
Edited by artist Brett Baker, Painters' Table highlights writing from the painting blogosphere as it is published and serves as a platform for exploring blogs that focus primarily on the subject of painting.