Helen Frankenthaler Prints & Beth Kaminstein Ceramics - September 2013
Friday September 6th - October 2nd, 2013
We are proud and pleased to present an exhibition featuring two extraordinary artists whose work, though expressed in different medium, are in perfect accord. Much has been written about the late, great painter Helen Frankenthaler, and the prints on view in this exhibition are beautiful examples of her signature abstract expressionist work. Her legacy in Washington DC is of particular interest to us Washingtonians as she is credited with heavily influencing the colorists Morris Louis and Kenneth Noland who formed the center of the Washington Color School movement. Frankenthaler’s landmark canvas, “Mountains and Sea” in the collection of the National Gallery of Art, was painted in 1952 and was her first exploration of her famous stained canvas technique. Known for her originality in the print arena as well, her fresh washes of color enliven these stunning works on paper.
It is exciting to pair Frankenthaler’s prints with the work of an artistic disciple, Beth Kaminstein, who deftly wields layers of glaze on her clay vessels as the master skillfully stained her canvases. Kaminstein’s colors are fluid and watery – her intuitive gestures and surprises dash across the ceramic surface to our delight. She owes a debt to her predecessor and there is a direct link to the source.
Frankenthaler and Kaminstein both attended Bennington College, though different generations they share this common experience (along with the director of the Cross MacKenzie Gallery). During the 70’s when Kaminstein studied drawing and painting there, Frankenthaler was a powerful figure in the art world and her influence was clearly present at her alma mater.
Beth Kaminstein has been a practicing ceramist since her student days, after which she worked and taught at the Greenwich House Pottery, Parsons School of Art and Montclair State College.
She and her potter husband moved their studios in 1989 from NYC to the Florida Keys where they throw their pots with an enviable ocean view. After a visit to Greece in the 70’s where she encountered a ceramic artist swimming while firing his kiln, Kaminstein was determined to create her own perfect life-work-art balance. Remarkably, “Contentment Island” is the title of one of Frankenthaler’s prints.